Grand Island temporary casino could be open by Christmas | national news

GRAND ISLAND — Santa is bringing a casino to Grand Island this year.

The new temporary casino at Fonner Park is expected to be open by Christmas. Fonner Park Executive Director Chris Kotulak hopes the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission will give final approval to operate the casino on Dec. 14.

The temporary casino is built inside the Fonner Park concourse. Work began on September 8.

When it opens, it will have 280 slot machines and kiosks for live and simultaneous horse racing betting.

“The Racing and Gambling Commission wanted to make sure that the races had a presence and I appreciate that, so they asked that we add extra television monitors and some betting terminals where people can bet on horse racing in addition to any games of casino they have. “they’re playing” in the temporary center, Kotulak said.

People will also be able to bet on simulcast and live races at the Finish Line restaurant, where keno operations will also continue. The temporary casino will include a snack bar.

Kotulak hopes workers will begin laying carpet this week.

Elite Casino Resorts, which is Fonner’s partner in the casino operation, is paying for the remodeling.

The Grand Island casino will be the second to open at one of the state’s licensed horse tracks after voters in November 2020 approved casino betting.

WarHorse Casino opened a temporary casino with 433 slot machines as Lincoln Race Course in October and generated more than $1.14 million in state and local tax revenue in its first five weeks.

Grand Island Casino will be open from 8:00 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, games will start at 8 and continue until 3


Fonner Park Executive Director Chris Kotulak stands inside the concourse area, which will soon house a temporary casino.

Table games (craps and blackjack) will likely be added a few months after the casino’s temporary opening, Fonner Park officials said.

The main entrance will be through the Heartland Events Center vestibule.

The temporary casino will be used for two to three years. The permanent Grand Island Casino resort in Fonner Park likely won’t open until 2024 or 2025, with much of the construction having to wait until after next year’s Nebraska State Fair.

Fonner Park’s annual live race meeting will begin on February 10.

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