Mulvane Site Selected For Sumner Co. Casino

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December 15, 2010

A casino in Sumner County will be built near Mulvane.

The Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board today selected Peninsula Gaming to develop the casino near the Mulvane exit of the Kansas Turnpike. The board selected Peninsula over a proposal by Global Gaming, which had hoped to build near Wellington.

Peninsula says it will complete its project in four years. Global would have phased its facility in over a 12 year period.

Members of the board voted 6-1 in favor of Peninsula, with all saying this was a very difficult decision, but in the end, all agreed with consultants, the Mulvane location would bring in more money to the state and to Sumner County than Global Gaming.

Peninsula Gaming plans a multi-phase project that will cost roughly $225 million — the minimum investment for a casino project in Kansas — in its first phase. Subsequent phases will send the total over $300 million, says Brent Stevens, CEO of Peninsula Gaming, which is based in Dubuque, Iowa.

The first phase of the Kansas Star casino would include a 150-room hotel. Another 150 rooms would come on line under a second phase of construction.

But the linchpin of the project appears to be the events center. Stevens wouldn’t say what the main attraction would be but says “what we will build will prosper under a lot of economic environments and scenarios.”

Peninsula Gaming was founded by Stevens in 1999. Stevens is an executive with New York investment bank Jefferies Group.

He says Peninsula has the adequate capital to complete a project of the size required by Kansas.

It would be the seventh gaming facility in Peninsula’s portfolio.

The company also owns the Diamond Jo Dubuque riverboat and land-based casinos in Iowa; the Evangeline Downs casino and racetrack in Louisiana; the Amelia Belle riverboat in Amelia, La.; and the Diamond Jo Worth casino in Mason City, Iowa.

The developer will run the casino, but the Kansas Lottery will own the rights to the gambling and the equipment. The state will claim 22 percent of the gambling revenue. Local governments also will get some revenue.

The Kansas Star will initially have 1300 slot machines and 30 table games with a complete build out of 2000 slot machines and 50 table games in 2014. Peninsula estimates $202 million dollars in annual stabilized gaming revenue.

Board members voting in favor of the Kansas Star proposal were: Matt All, Jackie Vietti, Dean Ferrell , Jim Bergfalk, Jack Brier and Bob Boaldin. Board member Garry Boston voted for the Global Gaming proposal.

Peninsula must now undergo an extensive background check by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. The contract becomes binding when the commission approves the backgrounds. By statute, the KRGC has 10 days, with the possibility of a 60 day extension, to complete the background checks.

The Wichita Business Journal and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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