WELLINGTON — Two companies competing to build and manage Sumner County's casino have finished presenting their plans to the state board that will determine the winner.
A meeting today with the state's casino review board in Wellington's Raymond Frye Complex lasted nearly eight hours and included input from company executives and more than 30 members of the public.
Peninsula Gaming Partners of Dubuque, Iowa, and Global Gaming Solutions of Ada, Okla., showed slides and videos to try to convince the seven board members their projects would best maximize gambling revenue for the state, draw tourists and serve the best interests of Kansas.
Peninsula Gaming plans a $260 million facility for one of two alternate sites near Mulvane. It would open a temporary casino 11 months after final approval and phase in its full project over the next four years.
Global Gaming would open its casino in 14 months, using $260 million of its total $280 million investment. The rest of the project would be phased in over 12 years.
The board asked questions about financing of each project, timelines, and non-gaming amenities, among other subjects.
Global plans an auto race track for vintage and sports car races in a future phase of its Wellington project, and Peninsula has proposed holding equestrian events in its project.
Earlier in the day, executives for Peninsula denied wrongdoing in an Iowa case involving allegations of illegal campaign contributions. Their statements came in response to questions from Kansas' board chairman Matt All.
Peninsula chief executive Brent Stevens and chief operating officer Jonathan Swain are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Iowa on misdemeanor charges that they made illegal contributions to the re-election campaign of Iowa Gov. Chet Culver.
Stevens said he and Swain were limited in what they could say about the case, but he repeated what the company has said in a prepared statement.
"We absolutely deny any wrongdoing," Stevens told All.
He also said Peninsula has a history of taking seriously its privilege of building and operating gambling facilities.
"We are very much looking forward to the resolution of this situation," Stevens said.
He said the company told the Kansas Lottery about the investigation into the charges in its first conversation.
The board is scheduled to choose the winning proposal at a meeting in Topeka on Dec. 15.