Casino pledges funds for teachers

One of the Sumner County casino bidders has added an educational sweetener to its proposal.

Peninsula Gaming, which is seeking state approval to build and manage the Kansas Star Casino, Hotel, Event Center near Mulvane, said Tuesday that it will give teachers in the county and the Mulvane school district $500 a year to help them purchase classroom supplies.

The money would come from an annual $1.5 million educational scholarship program included in Peninsula Gaming's contract with the state, which has been approved by the Kansas Lottery Commission.

The program already includes a $100 credit for back-to-school supplies for all K-12 students in the county and Mulvane districts, as well as $1,000 scholarships for graduating seniors who plan to attend college.

Peninsula Gaming, of Dubuque, Iowa, and Global Gaming Partners, of Ada, Okla., are competing to build and operate a casino in the county. Both have had their contracts with the state approved by the Lottery Commission.

Peninsula Gaming still needs planning and zoning approvals from the city of Mulvane for its proposed site at Mulvane's turnpike exit before its contract can be signed by the Lottery.

Mulvane's planning commission approved a special use permit and zoning for the project last week. The issue is on the City Council's Oct. 4 agenda.

Global Gaming has all of its required approvals for its site near Wellington's turnpike exit.

Once both contracts are signed, they will be sent to the state's seven-member casino review board for consideration and a vote.