The Kansas Star Casino near Mulvane opens at 8 a.m. Monday. Here’s what to expect:
Q: What will be there on opening day?
A: The Kansas Star will open its interim casino with 1,310 slot machines, 32 gaming tables and three food venues inside a facility that will be converted into an events and equestrian center in about a year when its permanent casino opens. The permanent casino is expected to be 70 percent larger than the interim facility, and will include 2,000 slots, 50 tables and a 150-room hotel.
A final phase to be completed in 2015 will expand the hotel to 300 rooms, add rental venues and RV parking, and include the opening of a 24-acre, 100,000-square-foot equestrian center with 600 stalls.
Q: Who owns and operates the casino?
A: The Kansas Lottery, on behalf of the state, will own and operate the games. The Lottery will monitor the games through a central computer system linking it to the casino. The Kansas Star will manage the facility.
Q: Who regulates the casino?
A: The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. Agents from the commission will be on site around the clock.
Q: Where is the casino?
A: At Mulvane’s Exit 33 on the Kansas Turnpike 9 miles south of Wichita. Visitors may also reach the casino from K-53 and U.S. 81.
Q: Do I have to pay a toll at Exit 33 if I drive there on the turnpike?
A: Yes, the same toll applies (50 cents from the south Wichita I-135 entrance). A new toll plaza exits into the Kansas Star’s parking area. Peninsula Gaming paid for the new exit and toll booth.
Q: What are the casino’s hours?
A: The casino will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. the first day. Beginning Tuesday it will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. seven days a week. Within a month the casino hopes to be open 24 hours a day.
Q: Where do I park?
A: There are plenty of parking spaces on site.
Q: Is there a cost to park?
Q: Are there any nonsmoking areas inside the casino?
Q: Can I bring my kids?
A: No. The Kansas Star and its restaurants will be open only to adults 21 and older. No day care is available.
Q: How much are the slots?
A: Machines range from a penny to $25.
State law dictates that slot machines must pay out at least 87 percent of the amount wagered over the life of the machine.
Q: What kinds of table games are available?
A: Blackjack, craps, roulette, pai gow, mini baccarat, Let it Ride, three-card poker, and ultimate Texas Hold ’Em.
Q: What are my odds of winning?
A: Not good.
Odds of any casino game always favor the casino. Mathematically, the casino’s advantage is a measure of how much the house expects to win, expressed as a percentage of the player’s wager. For example, in a wager with a house advantage of 5 percent, the player will lose, on average over time, $5 for every $100 wagered.
According to the American Gaming Association, typical house advantages range from 1.1 percent to 14.4 percent for baccarat, 0.5 percent to 3.0 percent for blackjack, 1.4 percent to 16.7 percent for craps, and 2.7 percent to 5.3 percent for roulette.
Slot machines have house advantages of 2 to 12 percent.
The longer and faster you bet, the more you’ll likely lose.
Q: Can I use credit cards, and are there ATMs inside the casino?
A: There are ATMs on site. Credit cards may be used at the dining outlets but not for gambling. The casino accepts checks using a third party check-cashing verification group. If you wish to cash a check you must enroll with the third party. Enrollment is a simple process and can be done at the casino’s cage cashier. The casino does not accept two-party checks or cash payroll checks. Travelers checks are accepted.
Q: Does the Kansas Star have a poker room?
A: There won’t be a poker room until the next phase opens in a year.
Q: Will the casino offer blackjack classes?
A: There are no plans to offer blackjack classes for players. The dealers will help players understand the rules and answer their questions.
Q: Are there going to be free drinks?
A: The casino offers complimentary soft drinks and coffee to guests. There is a full-service bar and cocktail service. Guests can purchase alcoholic beverages.
Q: What food venues are available?
A: The Arena Grill features hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and pizza. Panini Joe’s has grilled sandwiches, pastries and salads; and Haute Dogs offers hot dogs with a variety of toppings.
Panini Joe’s is open around the clock. The Arena Grill and Haute Dog are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
When the next phase opens, the Arena Grill will be replaced by a buffet and a wood-fire steakhouse will open as well.
Q: What entertainment acts will it offer?
A: There are no plans to host concerts or shows until after the permanent casino opens. The interim casino is occupying the events center.
Q: When do the equestrian events start?
A: Equestrian events like rodeos will be held in the transformed arena within six months after the next phase opens. The complete equestrian center will not open until 2015.
Q: How will complaints be handled?
A: Comments and suggestions may be directed to Scott Cooper, casino general manager, 316-558-5710.
Players may also complain to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission agent at the casino. Any casino employee will be able to help locate the agent.
Q: Can I still get a job at the casino?
A: The casino will open with 500 employees who already have been hired. It expects to employ 800 by the time it is finished. People who are interested working for the Kansas Star may apply at kansasstarcasino.com.
Q: Is there help for problem gamblers?
A. Yes. To get help call the state hotline at 800-522-4700 or go to www.ksgamblinghelp.com. The state makes treatment available at no cost to problem gamblers and their family members. People also may call that number for information on voluntarily banning themselves from the state-owned casinos. So far, 58 people have signed up under the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission’s voluntary exclusion program. To have the ban lifted, a person must fill out an application with the state and complete an evaluation process.