Peninsula Gaming

Dec 20, 2010 1:42 PM

Ignoring legal problems facing the winning bidder, the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board voted 6-1 to award the Sumner County gaming project to Peninsula Gaming.

There were only two bidders for the Mulvane, Kansas, casino. Not selected was Global Gaming Solutions, an Oklahoma company owned by the Chickasaw Nation.

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Peninsula Gaming is headed by CEO Brent Stevens and COO Jonathan Swain, both of whom are facing charges of violating Iowa’s campaign finance laws. A trial on the misdemeanor charges is scheduled for January.

Of particular importance to the lottery board members who supported the Peninsula Gaming proposal was the potential for more revenue.

"To me, that’s the (factor) most focused on," said Member Jim Bergfalk.

The board’s options were to select one bidder or reject both and reopen the process. However, this is the third time the board has awarded a project in Sumner County. The first two backed out of their deals because of financial problems that developed during the economic downturn.

The state lottery will own the rights to the new gambling facility and the equipment. It also will receive 22 percent of all gambling revenues.

Currently, the state has a small casino operating in Dodge City while another is under construction near Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County.

Peninsula Gaming operates a casino in Iowa. During the November election, the company’s officers allegedly made donations, in other people’s names, to the unsuccessful campaign of Gov. Chet Culver. They deny the charges.