Casino promoters have laid out a seductive vision for gambling-based economic growth for Marion Coun

The appearance of former-Wichita-mayor-turned-casino-promoter Bob Knight at Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting seems a bit incongruous to us. The only thing stranger is the notion of a ritzy casino resort springing up in the pastures of Marion County-as if we haven’t already gambled our economic livelihood on the prospect of a good wheat crop year after year.

Marion County needs an economic kick in the pants and some apparently are ready to pursue one in any form. And Knight gives the impression that the developers he represents are ready to go almost anywhere in central Kansas to deliver it-even a rural county of 13,000 people. Is it a partnership dropped from heaven? Or a case of the fast-talking city-slicker pulling one over on the rural rubes?

Knight & Co. want fast action; county commissioners were quick to authorize a referendum for November that will require a decision without much study. Is this a case of striking while the iron’s hot? Or is the siren song of the gambling industry an invitation to get burned? -DR

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