June casino revenues decrease at Hollywood Casino

June revenues for the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., are about $2 million under the May revenues, according to figures released today by the Kansas Lottery.

The June revenues were $11,491,164 as compared to May revenues of $13,535,920, according to Keith Kocher, director of program assurance and integrity at the Kansas Lottery. He was speaking at the Kansas Lottery Commission meeting.

Revenues also were down for Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Kan., and Kansas Star Casino, Mulvane, Kan.

At Boot Hill Casino, June revenues were $2,936,755 for June as compared to $3,732,096 in May. At Kansas Star Casino, June revenues were $13,841,074 in June as compared to $16,889,552 in May.

In total, the three state casinos reported casino gaming revenue of $28,268,993 for June as compared to $34,157,568 in May, a total decline of almost $6 million.

Kocher said the decline was expected, and that June revenues are down every year as compared to May.

Record year for casino revenues in Kansas

He also reported figures for the end of the fiscal year, which came at the end of June.

Gaming revenues, from the three state casinos, resulted in a record of $365 million during fiscal year 2015, Kocher said, or about $1 million a day.

It was also the best year ever for Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, which produced $142 million in gaming revenues, according to lottery records. Hollywood Casino’s previous high was fiscal year 2014 at $132 million, and the past year was a full $10 million increase over that.

During fiscal year 2015, all three casinos combined gave $80.3 million to the state of Kansas. That figure includes $31.4 million from Hollywood Casino.

Hollywood Casino paid $4,282,772 to the Unified Government during fiscal year 2015 from the casino gaming revenues, representing 3 percent of the total. Additionally, $2.8 million went to the problem gambling fund.

Since it opened on Feb. 3, 2012, Hollywood Casino has given almost $100 million to the state of Kansas in casino gaming revenues. It has given $13.6 million to the UG for its 3 percent of the casino gaming revenue.

Since their opening, the three casinos together have given back $294 million to the state of Kansas from casino gaming revenues.

Lawsuit filed over fourth casino in southeast Kansas

A fourth state casino is in the works in southeast Kansas.

Kocher reported that the Kansas Racing and Gaming Review Board had selected Kansas Crossing, Pittsburg, Kan., in Crawford County as the manager on a vote of 5-2. Two votes were for another applicant, Castle Rock in Cherokee County. A contract also has been approved for the new casino, with an expected opening date by July 2, 2016.

However, Kocher reported that a case has been filed in Shawnee County District Court challenging this decision. The Cherokee County commissioners board filed a petition July 13 against KRGC, requesting a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction. A hearing on it was scheduled for 2 p.m. July 16 in Shawnee County District Court.

Traditional lottery game revenues up in fiscal year

Sherriene Jones-Sontag, deputy executive director of the Kansas Lottery, reported that traditional lottery sales were up this fiscal year, from July 2014 to June 2015. Sales were $264.4 million, which is 2.66 percent ahead of last year’s record sales, according to lottery officials.

The lottery transferred an additional $75.02 million to the state during the fiscal year, another record, according to lottery officials.

This improvement in lottery sales came despite a challenging year in which there were few $200 million jackpots and in which a new national game the lottery had planned to join did not go forward. It was also a year in which prize payouts, totaling more than $137 million, were $5 million more than the previous year, she said.

She said the entire team played a crucial role in the success of the lottery this year.

One of the goals for this year will be increasing the number of selling spots within retail lottery locations, she said.

Contact Mary Rupert at maryr@wyandottepublishing.com.

Comment period open for KCKCC’s accreditation reaffirmation

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

Accreditation means stability to an educational organization, and Kansas City Kansas Community College is once again amid its quest to maintain that accreditation, according to college officials.

“Accreditation ensures that institutions meet all of the criteria in terms of the capacity and the quality in delivering higher education,” said Sangki Min, dean of institutional services at KCKCC. “The accreditation gives KCKCC as an institution and our students the eligibility to participate in certain governmental grants and financial aid programs. It helps our students to transfer credits to other institutions and provides the public an assurance that KCKCC has the quality and capacity as confirmed by the agency.”

Accreditation is a process where an institutional accrediting agency evaluates an entire institution in terms of its mission and how that institution meets an agency’s standards or criteria, college officials said. This review process takes place every 10 years and assesses the educational activities of the institution as well as evaluates governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, institutional resources, student academic achievement, institutional effectiveness and relationships with constituencies both inside and outside the school.

The process to earn and maintain accreditation is voluntary and designated by non-governmental agencies, according to college officials. The agency that accredits KCKCC is the Higher Learning Commission, which is an independent corporation founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

The HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes the state of Kansas as well as 18 other states. KCKCC first received accreditation by the HLC in 1951.

“The HLC modified this (the accreditation) process starting in 2015,” Min said. “It is still a 10-year cycle, but we now get evaluated once every four years and then again in the 10th year for a full re-accreditation. We will have a visit by the HLC Accreditation Review Team that consists of faculty, staff and administrators from other colleges in November.”

Min said the modified accreditation, called Open Pathway, has two new sub processes this year – Assurance Argument and Quality Improvement. During the review in the fourth and 10th years, KCKCC now needs to submit an Assurance Argument. This is a narrative with documentation proving KCKCC meets all of the criteria and requirements set by the HLC to be fully accredited.

Between the fifth and 10th year, a Quality Improvement plan is also submitted, which the college must implement. The final piece of the accreditation process is public comments. Min said that as part of its ongoing effort to make the accreditation process responsive to a broad range of constituents, the HLC integrated the federally required third-party comment process into its regular accrediting processes since the 1997.

The commission requires institutions undergoing a comprehensive evaluation or quality checkup visits to publish basic information about the visit in appropriate publications and to invite the public to provide written comments to the commission. The commission then forwards these comments to the evaluation team members to include in their review of the institution.

“KCKCC wants to inform the public that KCKCC is an accredited institution that has the quality and capacity in delivering higher education,” Min said. “We are again in the process of getting an accreditation for the next 10 years and want to be sure that the public has the opportunity to participate through the public comments process.”

The public may submit comments by mail to – Third Party Comment on Kansas City Kansas Community College, The Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 or on the commission’s web site at
www.ncahlc.org/HLC-Institutions/third-party-comment.html.

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs, according to college officials. Comments must be in writing and received by Oct. 9.
Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at KCKCC.