Sports Betting: PENN Entertainment
Posted on: February 5, 2024, 08:37h. Last updated on: February 5, 2024, 08:37h.
When PENN Entertainment was granted permission to develop what became its Hollywood Casino at NASCAR’s Kansas Speedway, it also pledged to build an adjacent hotel within two years. However, ten years have passed since that deadline, with no hotel in sight. Instead, the developer has chosen to pay $13 million in penalties for failing to meet ten deadlines in a row. Under its 2009 agreement with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City (WyCo & KCK), Kansas Entertainment LLC (KE), a joint venture between PENN and International Speedway Corp., the developer promised a hotel tower with a minimum of 200 rooms.
In return, the project received STAR bonds from WyCo & KCK, a tool that can be issued by Kansas municipalities for the development of major commercial, entertainment, and tourism projects. Under the terms of the agreement, formal construction of the hotel should have begun on the casino’s second anniversary. However, KE has continuously failed to meet this requirement. The company announced numerous postponements, citing economic conditions, and expressed the intention to explore opportunities to proceed with the hotel project.
According to Jeff Morris, PENN’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, the company continues to evaluate the project while monitoring area occupancy rates and new hotel developments. The relationship with Wyandotte County has been emphasized, with the company expressing desire to build upon past successes for years to come. In the interim, KE remains content to pay the fines. Wyandotte County Administrator David Johnston emphasized that the fines will continue until construction begins. This revelation dashes misconceptions about a ten-year window, highlighting that the payments will only cease when the hotel is built, leaving PENN Entertainment to navigate through ongoing delays.