Slight drop reported in Hollywood Casino gaming revenues

Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway reported $12.3 million in gaming revenues for July 2019, a slight drop from July of 2018 when gaming revenues were $12.7 million.

According to Keith Kocher, Kansas Lottery director of program assurance and integrity, the revenues for most of the state’s casinos were flat for July. He announced the figures at Wednesday’s Kansas Lottery Commission meeting.

Casino gaming revenues in July were $15.6 million at Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, as compared to $15.5 million in July 2018; $3.45 million at Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Kansas, as compared to $3.56 million in July 2018; and about $3 million at Kansas Crossing Casino near Pittsburg, Kansas, as compared to $2.8 million in July 2018.

The Unified Government receives 3 percent of the Hollywood Casino gaming revenues, which totals about $369,000. The state of Kansas receives 22 percent of the casino gaming revenues.

The June 2019 revenues at Hollywood Casino were $12.3 million, as compared to $12.48 million for June 2018.

In other action, Stephen Durrell, Kansas Lottery executive director, reported that the lottery is still rolling out self-service instant ticket machines at locations throughout Kansas. There may be other lottery ticket machines installed later.

The lottery’s website lists two of the machines in Wyandotte County so far, both at Walmarts. One is at the Walmart at 10824 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas; and the other is at the Walmart at 12801 Kansas Ave., Bonner Springs.

KU researcher indicted

A researcher at the University of Kansas was indicted today on federal charges of hiding the fact he was working full time for a Chinese university while doing research at KU funded by the U.S. government, according to the Department of Justice.

Feng “Franklin” Tao, 47, Lawrence, Kansas, an associate professor at KU’s Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, was charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of program fraud. He was employed since August 2014 by the CEBC, whose mission is to conduct research on sustainable technology to conserve natural resources and energy.

“Tao is alleged to have defrauded the US government by unlawfully receiving federal grant money at the same time that he was employed and paid by a Chinese research university—a fact that he hid from his university and federal agencies,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers for national security. “Any potential conflicts of commitment by a researcher must be disclosed as required by law and university policies. The department will continue to pursue any unlawful failure to do so.”

The indictment alleges that in May 2018 Tao signed a five-year contract with Fuzhou University in China that designated him as a Changjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor. The contract required him to be a full-time employee of the Chinese university.

While Tao was under contract with Fuzhou University, he was conducting research at KU that was funded through two U.S. Department of Energy contracts and four National Science Foundation contracts.

Kansas Board of Regents’ policy requires staff to file an annual conflict of interest report. In Tao’s reports to KU, he is alleged to have falsely claimed to have no conflicts of interest, according to the Department of Justice. The indictment alleges that he fraudulently received more than $37,000 in salary paid for by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the wire fraud count, and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the program fraud counts.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the assigned judge.

The University of Kansas cooperated and assisted in the FBI’s investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi is prosecuting.

Walk-off thriller knocks T-Bones out of wild card lead

by Luke Schrock

Sioux City, Iowa – The Kansas City T-Bones (47-39) lost their second-place spot in the Southern Division in Tuesday’s 3-2 walk-off loss to the Sioux City Explorers (48-39), who now take second place.

Dylan Baker went 7.2 innings against the Explorers, only giving up one run in the bottom of the first. After the first he was lights out until he was taken out of the game in the bottom of the eighth for Carlos Diaz (1-2) to shut the door on the eighth inning, but two walks would kill the T-Bones in the end.

After Diaz walked Dexture McCall and Justin Felix, Diaz would let up two straight singles from Sebastian Zawada and Dylan Kelly. Kelly would be the final blow in the first walk-off loss the T-Bones have faced this season.

Carlos Sierra was able to hold off the T-Bones until the sixth inning, when he was replaced by Nate Gercken in the bottom of the sixth. Sierra and Gercken were the only ones who let up runs to Kansas City, and Jose Velez (2-0) was awarded the win after completing the one run comeback.

The T-Bones were down 1-0 to the Explorers for most of the game. Chris Colabello broke the silence in the sixth inning to score Shawn O’Malley and to tie the game at 1-1. The next inning, in the top of the seventh, a Christian Correa RBI scored Casey Gillaspie to take the lead 2-1.

Kansas City returns home for the next three days to take on the Lincoln Saltdogs, who are currently out of the wildcard race but who could spoil playoff hopes for the T-Bones.

Kansas City will be in action tonight starting game one at 5:05 p.m. and game two at 7:05 p.m. at JustBats Field at T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas. Catch all the action live on the T-Bones Broadcast Network at http://mixlr.com/t-bones-baseball/.

Tickets to all T-Bones home games are on sale online or by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke’s Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale.

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