Large Crowd Turns Out For Kansas Star Casino Grand Opening

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Monday, December 26, 2011

More than 6,000 people walked through the doors of the casino today but it was the jobs created that many were thankful for this year.

"I just won $1,000. Oh my gosh, that is so wonderful," said Tracie Hood, casino player from Georgia, who hit the jackpot after spending four dollars.

Some lucky people hit the jackpot at the official grand opening, while others were happy to accumulate small winnings.

"It's a lot of fun. They have many machines that I've never seen before and many that I want to try. Win or lose, I'm having a good time," said Dale Elrod, casino player from Wichita.

Not all the winners were hitting the slots at the casino. Some of those winners were people who got a job out of more than 10,000 applicants.

"Great opportunity to have something close to home, in this community. Most of my employees come from around here," said Bechir Dridi, food service manager for the Kansas Star. "It's a blessing to have something this close that offers these opportunities for work."

The casino employs 500 people and officials said about 80 percent are from Kansas. They had to hire out-of-state workers for some critical gaming jobs.

"It's just a lot of jobs and they've still got construction going on and it's going to be going on for another year or two. So there's just an opportunity for a lot of employment here in this area," said Neysa Thomas, deputy executive director for the Kansas Lottery.

Since construction began in March, more than 1,600 construction jobs have been created. While players can start gambling in the temporary gaming floor, the casino's permanent building remains under construction.

"It's great. The more jobs we can get, the better off we are. Everything like this makes it better for everybody. You know, times are tough but I'm here to have fun," said Dwight Perry, casino player from Wichita.

Although there were large crowds and long lines, many people were happy to see a casino in South Central Kansas.

The casino is open seven days a week and closed from 4-10 a.m. It is located on the Kansas Turnpike at Mulvane exit 33.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Many people will spend the day after Christmas visiting the state's newest casino.

The Kansas Star casino opened its doors to the public this morning at 8:00 a.m. More than 200 people waited in line for the doors to open. By 11 a.m., more than 3,000 people had visited the casino.

The Mulvane area casino received state approval to open last week.

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