Boot Hill: small but popular

Dec 22, 2009 3:51 AM

They are doing things differently in Kansas. Instead of the four authorized casinos being owned by major gaming companies, the properties and their contents – right down to those little red cubes on the craps table – are owned by the state.

Kansas’ first such casino opened in Dodge City last week greeted by hundreds of area folks who welcomed the opportunity of having gaming entertainment in their neighborhood, rather than hundreds of miles away.

Said one first-nighter, "I think it’s going to boost the economy. People will come and spend their money in the community."

The Boot Hill Casino and Resort was built by Butler National Corp. (BUKS) in the city that is well-remembered by fans of the old television show, "Gunsmoke." Operating officials expect the casino to generate nearly $44 million in net gambling revenues during its first year. That would mean about $10 million to the state.

The casino is small by comparison to other major properties. It has 20,000 square feet of gambling space with 584 slot machines and 12 gaming tables.

The law passed in 2007 calls for three other casinos to be built in other parts of the state.