Lines of customers greet Kansas casino as it opens to public

Wichita EagleDecember 27, 2011 

MULVANE — After five years of wrangling, bidding, annexing and zoning, casino gambling opened to the public in Sumner County on Monday.

It didn’t take long to gauge the gambling fervor in the area. About 200 people lined up outside the Kansas Star Casino before its doors opened at 8 a.m., and the crowd swelled steadily throughout the morning.

The casino reported that 1,050 people had entered within the first 45 minutes, 1,600 within the first 90 minutes and 2,415 within a little more than two hours. Three hours after the opening, a waiting line stretched outside the main entrance for about 100 yards, with a wait time of about 30 minutes. Arriving vehicles were backed up nearly to the new toll booths on the west side of Mulvane’s Turnpike exit.

By 4 p.m., 7,000 people had visited the Kansas Star, reported Scott Cooper, its general manager.

Cooper, who has opened casinos in Nevada, Missouri, Illinois, New York and elsewhere, said he was surprised at the large number of people who visited the Kansas Star within its first couple of hours.

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