Developers of a southeast Kansas casino say a Shawnee County judge's ruling clears the way for construction of the state's fourth nontribal casino to begin.

Judge Larry Hendricks last week rejected arguments made in a challenge to a decision by the state to award the southeast Kansas project to Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel. The Pittsburg Morning Sun reports the $70 million proposal in Crawford County was the smallest of three submitted to the state Gaming Facility Review Board.

Cherokee County and Castle Rock Casino filed a lawsuit. Its $145 million proposal was the largest submitted, and it claimed the board didn't follow state law when it picked the smaller project.

Kansas Crossing's chief operating officer says the new casino should be open within a year.

dzianis miraniuk, ThinkStock