Revenue projections up for Mulvane casino after hotel added

State gambling consultants have boosted revenue forecasts for Sumner County's casino now that developers have added a hotel to the first phase.

Consultants also said a proposed Indian casino in Park City or slots at Wichita Greyhound Park would eat into revenue for Chisholm Creek Casino Resort — if either begins operation. The future for each is unclear.

Chisholm Creek Casino Resort announced in October that it would add a hotel with at least 100 rooms to its first phase. It is to open six months after the casino opens in September 2011.

Cummings Associates raised its gambling revenue forecast for 2013, the first full year of casino operations, by $3.5 million over its original forecast, to $166.5 million.

The increase amounts to roughly $96 per room per night at a 100-room hotel, Cummings said.

Wells Gaming Research increased its 2013 forecast by $9.3 million, from $144.6 million to $153.9 million.

The state casino review board is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Topeka to hear from the consultants and Chisholm Creek officials. It plans to vote Wednesday whether to approve the casino, which would be managed by Lakes Entertainment.

Chisholm Creek's new first-phase plans include the hotel, a 30-seat cafe, and a 125-seat entertainment and dining venue, which would include a steak house, elevated sports bar on the casino floor, and seating that converts to a live-music venue and nightclub.

It plans a $225 million investment in the casino, starting with a $150 million first phase, which includes a mandated $25 million privilege fee. The casino, at the Mulvane exit of the Kansas Turnpike, would start with 1,300 slot machines and 30 gaming tables.

Civic Economics also revised its economic impact report to reflect the hotel. It shows a direct and induced impact of $153.6 million, up from $139.9 million originally predicted.

Civic said total full-time and part-time jobs would increase from 1,105 to 1,331, with the average wage rising from $36,804 to $40,512.

At the request of the review board, Cummings and Wells also considered competition from a potential Class II casino in Park City planned by the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma, and from the addition of 800 slot machines at Wichita Greyhound Park.

Both would have a significant impact on the Sumner County casino, they said.

Slots at the greyhound park, which is closer to Wichita than the Mulvane casino, would draw "very substantial amounts of revenue ($100 million)", and reduce the Chisholm Creek gambling revenue by 23 percent, to $127.8 million, Cummings said.

Sedgwick County voters would have to approve slots at the greyhound park, which has been closed since shortly after voters rejected slots in 2007.

In addition to a public vote, slots at the track face another hurdle. Owner Phil Ruffin has said he would reopen the park only if state lawmakers amend the expanded gambling act to allow tracks to share more of the slots revenue.

A Wyandotte casino in Park City would lower revenue at Chisholm Creek by 21.5 percent, to $130.7 million, Cummings said.

Cummings based its forecasts on 750 Class II, or bingo-style, slot machines, and 12 table games at the Wyandotte casino.

But it could be years before a casino could be built in Park City. The tribe must get approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to have the land put in trust for gambling purposes. The bureau's regional office in Muskogee sent the tribe's paperwork to the national office in January without approving it. It could take three or four years to get federal approval, according to a representative of the regional office. Then it would have to be sent back to the regional office for approval.

The state of Kansas has objected to the move, according to Sally Howard, chief counsel to Gov. Mark Parkinson who deals with Indian gaming compacts.

Even if the tribe gets the land approved for a casino, it could only conduct Class II gambling. It would have to negotiate a compact with the state to get Class III, or Las Vegas-style, gaming, and that is another lengthy process, Howard said.

Cummings based its projections on the assumption that the Park City casino wouldn't be operated under a compact, so the performance of its slot machines would mirror those in Oklahoma casinos, which Cummings rated as "poor."

But, Cummings' report said, a Park City casino still would "present substantial competition" for Chisholm Creek.

Cummings projected the total table and slots revenue at the Wyandotte casino at about $90 million in 2013.

Wells factored in a potential new Kaw Indian casino near Braman, Okla. The Kaw recently said they are in the final stages of gaining approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and have received approval from other officials to build a casino near Braman.

The casino would be about half the size of the tribe's South Wind Casino east of Newkirk. The tribe has said it would scale back plans for the new casino if the Sumner County casino is built.

Wells said the new Kaw facility would create a loss of $3 million, or 2 percent, in gambling revenue at Chisholm Creek casino in 2015.

Chisholm Creek's revenue would decline by 28 percent, or $46.6 million, in competition with the Kaw casino and slots at the greyhound park, Wells said.

Revenue at Chisholm Creek would drop by 32 percent, or $52.9 million, if the Kaw and Wyandotte casinos are built, Wells said.

It would drop 43 percent, or $70.6 million, if all three new competitors are built.

In other new information provided to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission for next week's review-board meetings, Chisholm Creek partners clarified their hotel arrangement with the builder, Double Down Development of Topeka.

Double Down would pay to build the hotel, but when it is 50 percent complete, Chisholm Creek would pay Double Down $1.5 million to help with construction costs.

Chisholm Creek also would purchase 40 percent of the hotel rooms for $99 a night for five years.

Minimum amenities would include a pool, spa, fitness center and 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

The two parties are still finalizing the exact location of the hotel but expect it would be connected to the casino by a common wall or short walkway.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle