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Friday, April 18, 2014

Kansas Star Casino nets $21.6 million in first few weeks

By Fred Mann
The Wichita Eagle

The Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, which opened to the public the day after Christmas, netted $21.6 million in gambling revenue through January, according to the Kansas Lottery.

Of that money, $4.7 million, or 22 percent, went to the state, as mandated by the state’s expanding gaming law.

The city of Mulvane and Sumner and Sedgwick counties each received 1 percent of the revenue, or $215,624.

The state’s problem gambling and addictions fund, administered by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation services, received $431,248.

The casino’s manager, Peninsula Gaming, of Dubuque, Iowa, kept $15.7 million, or 73 percent. Peninsula is responsible for paying all casino expenses.

The Kansas Star, located at Exit 33 on the Kansas Turnpike, netted $15.6 million in gambling revenue in January alone, its first full month of operation, although it did not start the month as a 24-hour facility.

The $21.5 million total includes several “soft openings” and a demonstration for state regulators before the casino opened.

Of the Star’s gambling revenue, $19.3 million came from slot machines, and $2.2 million from table games. The casino, which opened in an interim arena facility on Dec. 26, has 1,411 slot machines and 32 gaming tables.

It expects to open a five-table poker room as soon as it receives final approval from the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, which could come this week, said Scott Cooper, general manager.

The Kansas Star will expand to 2,000 slot machines, 45 tables and a 12-table poker room when its permanent casino opens in January 2013.

The Hollywood Casino at the Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County, which opened Feb. 3, netted just over $6.8 million in its first week of operation, according to the Lottery.

Casino gambling revenue is the total cash revenue remaining from the play of slot machines and table games after all prizes have been paid. The amounts reported by the Lottery are unaudited and subject to revision.

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