2 casino applicants submit contracts

Peninsula Gaming Partners of Dubuque, Iowa, proposes the Kansas Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center for Exit 33 near Mulvane.
Peninsula Gaming Partners of Dubuque, Iowa, proposes the Kansas Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center for Exit 33 near Mulvane. Courtesy illustration

Sumner County's pursuit of a casino took another step Tuesday with Kansas' casino review board receiving signed contracts from the two applicants.

A series of meetings are scheduled before the board chooses one applicant and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission makes a final ruling on the selection, which could come before the end of the year.

Global Gaming Kansas and Peninsula Gaming Partners will present their plans to the review board at an Oct. 28 meeting in Wellington, commission spokesman Mike Deines said.

All the meetings are open to the public, but this is the only one where the public may comment.

The seven-member review board will also hear that day from Sumner County, Mulvane and Wellington officials.

On Dec. 1 in Topeka, the eight consultants hired by the commission to analyze the proposals will present their information to the review board.

The analyses will cover gambling revenue, cost of construction and affect of the proposed casino on the communities.

On Dec. 7, the board members will have a teleconference with the applicants so they can ask any additional questions.

The review board will meet on Dec. 15 in Topeka for an open discussion before voting to select a contract.

After doing a background investigation, the racing and gaming commission has the authority to reject the selected contract.

"If that happens, the process would have to start over again," Deines said.

The commission has 10 days to decide on the contract, although it has the option to extend that time another 60 days.

Peninsula, based in Dubuque, Iowa, is bidding to build and manage a $260 million casino near Mulvane.

It has proposed two alternate sites — one at the Mulvane turnpike exit and the other at Oliver and K-53.

The county didn't endorse the turnpike location, but the city of Mulvane has.

Global Gaming, of Ada, Okla., has applied to build a $255 million casino at the turnpike exit near Wellington.

The review board is expected to quiz Peninsula about charges against two of its executives, president Brent Stevens and executive Jonathan Swain, alleging they broke the state of Iowa's campaign contribution disclosure rules.

The two men were charged on Oct. 11 in Polk County District Court. The charges stem from an investigation into a $25,000 contribution to Iowa Gov. Chet Culver's 2009 political campaign. Peninsula denied the charges.