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Under close watch, Kansas Star casino unloads slots

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at 2:24 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, March 30, 2012, at 4:25 p.m.

MULVANE — Slot machines in sealed semi-trucks have started arriving at the under-construction Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, greeted by state gaming officials and under surveillance around the clock until the casino opens in early January 2012.

"This is when the casino comes to life," Scott Cooper, the casino's general manager, said Wednesday as a shipment of slot machines from Bally in Las Vegas was unloaded.

The casino will receive 1,310 of the machines, arriving in trucks of 50 to 70, this week. They are Las Vegas-type machines from six manufacturers and represent different themes and games, Cooper said.

To make sure the machines are not compromised at any point along the way of their journey, their serial numbers are recorded by the manufacturer as the machines are loaded onto the trucks, and the trucks are sealed. The list of the serial numbers is then provided to the casino, Cooper said.

State gaming officials, representatives of the manufacturer and casino workers are on hand when the machines are unloaded in Mulvane to confirm that the same machines that went on the truck are the ones that come off it. The slot machines are then taken to spots that have been designated for them on the casino floor, Cooper said, and cameras monitor their progress every step of the way. Cameras then remain trained on the machines to be sure there is no tampering.

"There are a huge number of cameras on this property," he said. "There's almost no place you can go where there are no cameras. The casino is a very safe environment because everything is being recorded."

Some of the Bally machines that were being unloaded Wednesday are new models that haven't been played anywhere else, said Bruce Peterson, corporate director of slots for Peninsula Gaming, which will operate the state-owned Kansas Star.

"They make people have more fun and make the money last longer," Peterson said.

A survey of local residents showed that they wanted traditional slot machines, with three reels across one line, and those also will be on the floor, Peterson said.

New slot machines are usually of the video type with a lot more going on, he said. For example, there may be 100 lines with 100 different ways to win, each line costing a penny. And bonuses with possible winnings based on probability allow players to make choices, adding to the interaction, he said.

Slot machines are computers that require software to be installed in them, Cooper said, and it will take a month to get all the machines ready to play and inspected.

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