Due diligence is often worthwhile, even when it is totally, completely, and utterly unnecessary.

Due diligence is often worthwhile, even when it is totally, completely, and utterly unnecessary.

Did we really need a report from the Missouri Department of Economic Development to tell us that a casino planned for Sugar Creek would likely need to siphon gamblers from other metropolitan Kansas City sources to have a chance at survival? Couldn’t any rational high school graduate surmise that no matter how fantastic a plan Paragon Gaming devised, it wasn’t likely to provide the state (read: you and me) the most bang for its buck?

Of course we did not. But it’s great to have some solid research from a non-partisan organization to wake folks from the haze of hopefulness surrounding a potential casino project in Sugar Creek. Now, finally, we can get on to backing more viable and realistic development opportunities for a great little town with river frontage and solid access to major transportation networks.

There’s nothing wrong with setting lofty goals or trying to redefine your destiny. After all, that’s America in a nutshell. But that doesn’t mean common sense should be discarded like a turkey bone.

There are five casinos within 30 miles of Sugar Creek (four in Missouri and one in downtown Kansas City, Kan.). Casino No. 6 is already planned for Kansas Speedway. And suddenly Paragon Gaming wants to try to shoehorn a seventh casino in the area, in the midst of an economic slowdown that has left nearly 10 percent of workers without a job?

If it sounds like a bad idea and feels like a bad idea, it’s a bad idea. The only thing that could be worse is continuing to pursue said bad idea.

Public officials in Sugar Creek shouldn’t just distance themselves from this project, they should be working with state gaming officials to make sure they clearly see the issues with Paragon’s proposal. It’s either that or be stuck with their very own Sam’s Town Gambling Hall.

For those keeping score, Sam’s Town was a casino opened in 1995 near Interstate 435 and Missouri 210. The casino crashed and burned, shuttering in July 1998 after less than three years in business. The casino’s owner, Boyd Gaming Corporation, left behind a parking garage and some other structures. Well, that and its dreams of big revenue and the jobs of 646 employees. The casino ended business losing $1 million per quarter.

“To a certain extent, this isn’t any surprise,” Boyd spokesman Rob Stillwell told the Kansas City Business Journal at the time. While Stillwell was referring to a variety of legal and Gaming Commission challenges, his quote is a perfect example of a company learning too much, too late.

Paragon Gaming is lucky enough to have some effective diligence before a shovel full of dirt is turned.

Hopefully, it uses it.