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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Can you believe it's been a year?

  • The partial opening of Sumner County's new Kansas Star Casino is set for December 12, and a full gaming floor opening set for December 21.
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  • MULVANE, KAN–  The Kansas Star Casino is growing. The partial opening of the new Kansas Star Casino is set for December 12, and a full gaming floor opening set for December 21. This month will also mark the one year anniversary of the Kansas Star opening its doors in south central Kansas.
    “It’s been a great year,” said Scott Cooper Kansas Star Casino General Manager. “We’re even more excited about what’s still to come. With our new, larger casino opening, five new restaurants and the Hampton Inn Hotel next door, we will truly be a regional destination.”
    In its first year of operation nearly 1,000 jobs have already been created.  Through the end of October, almost $40 million from Kansas Star’s gaming revenue had already been distributed to State, County and City governments.  This money is boosting economic development, improving infrastructure and lowering taxes.  Sumner County, Sedgwick County and Mulvane each receive 1% of Kansas Star Gaming Revenue. It’s part of the Kansas Star’s commitment to the cities and counties of south central Kansas.
    “While Sedgwick County has been faced with funding challenges over the last few years, the revenue from the Kansas Star has helped us to avoid possible reductions in essential services and programs,” said Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Tim Norton.  “The Kansas Star helps keep dollars in our community and in our state, and that is a good thing for our citizens.” 
    “The Kansas Star Casino has been an excellent corporate citizen in the City of Mulvane,” said Kent Hixson, Mulvane City Administrator. “The gaming revenue generated by the Kansas Star casino enabled the City to lower electric rates in 2012. The property tax base increase from the casino will also allow the City to low our property tax rate in 2013.”
    Sumner County will be also lower its property taxes in 2013. Commissioners agreed to a 30% reduction and credits Kansas Star gaming revenue for making that possible.
    Kansas Star also committed very early in its development to support local business. Since March 2011, more than $121 million in construction contracts have been awarded for the development of the Kansas Star. Through a program called “Kansas First,” 92% of those contracts were awarded to Kansas based companies. With up to 120 construction workers still on-site each day, the Kansas Star project has provided a boost for the construction industry in Kansas.

    “We’re proud of where we’re located, said Cooper. “So it’s important for us to provide support to the communities of south central Kansas.”

    The Kansas Star’s impact has also stretched into education. Through the Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund, nearly $1.5 million was distributed to students, teachers and families in Sumner County in 2012. Each K-12 student received $100 for back-to-school shopping, teachers received $500 to offset the costs associated with their classrooms and graduating seniors were given $1,000 if they chose to continue their education. Cowley College, Wichita State University and Butler Community College also received $50,000 each to distribute scholarships to the students of south central Kansas.
    Page 2 of 2 - “In any business, when another outside agency provides support in any way, it is a great opportunity,” said Randy Sawyer, Caldwell High School/Middle School Art teacher. “The gift cards provided by the Kansas Star Casino to the teachers in Sumner County gave us a means to purchase additional materials or equipment for our classrooms, which carries over to our students.  Thank You Kansas Star Casino for your Support for Education in Sumner County.”
    The Kansas Star Casino plans to continue to expand, adding the use of a multi-purpose arena in July 2013 and building a 24 acre equestrian center that should be ready for 2015 equestrian season.
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