There is one final license left on the table for a state-owned gambling facility in the state of Kansas and several entities are trying to become the winner. Several applications have been sent in for approval including one by the Quapaw Tribe who already owns the Downstream Casino Resort. The proposed casino, Emerald City Casino, would have the tribe working with the owner of Wichita Greyhound Park, Phil Ruffin, who purchased the track in 1997.
Mr. Ruffin, for interested readers also owned the Frontier Casino in Las Vegas (recently purchased by James Packer, owner of Crown International) and he also owned the Crystal Palace Resort and Casino in the Bahamas which recently closed in preparation for the Baha Mar Resort and Casino. So Mr. Ruffin brings plenty of gaming experience with him.
In the proposal, the Tribe would be spending $110 million spread out over two phases. The project would consist of the Camptown Greyhound Park being revamped to create an even larger and more efficient gaming space. Camptown Greyhound Park was closed after only being 6 months in 1995. It reopened in 2000, but closed again after only 13 weeks open. In the first phase, the casino would be reconstructed to provide 70,000 square feet of gaming space, 750 slot machines, 18 table games, three restaurants and bar areas.
Phase two would consist of 250 slot games, 12 table games, and a 150 guest room hotel with another restaurant/bar area. A convention and entertainment center would be built with 10,000 square feet of space as well as an RV Park which will house 50 spaces.
John Berrey, the Chairman of the Quapaw Tribe, stated that the structure is already there with the Camptown Greyhound Park. Berrey says the quality already exists and they will add to the look with great finishes and outdoor entertainment. The Chairman feels that their project is the better choice due to location and infrastructure.
The location of the property is already established and the infrastructure is already in place. Berrey states that the project has ‘known entities’, as he and Mr. Ruffin are established businessmen in the area. The location is the best and with the changes proposed, the area would be able to benefit, providing jobs and entertainment to residents and visitors. According to indianz.com, the site is about 38 miles from the tribe’s Downstream Casino Resort.
The proposal by the Quapaw Tribe is one of four currently under review by the Kansas Lottery. The proposals will be studied and if approved will move to the Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board in April. After being reviewed again, the Board is expected to choose a winner by the end of June. It will be interesting to see if the tribe will be able to earn the coveted spot or if another proposal will be accepted in their place.