Fonner Park casino company files for gaming license

This rendering shows what a new casino at Fonner Park may look like.
This rendering shows what a new casino at Fonner Park may look like.(KSNB)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:07 AM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Iowa company planning to build a casino at Grand Island’s Fonner Park filed for a gaming license on Tuesday.

If the application is approved by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission, it could mean a temporary casino at Fonner Park as soon as the end of this year.

In a press release, Elite Casino Resorts announced that they applied for the license under the name Grand Island Casino Resort. Fonner Park announced in April 2021 that Elite Casino would be its casino operating partner. Both are hoping for quick approval of the license application.

Executive Director Tom Sage of the Nebraska Gaming and Racing Commission confirmed to Local4 that they received an application Tuesday from Elite Casino Resorts.

“Should approval be received, Grand Island Casino Resort at Fonner Park will open as a temporary casino inside the existing Fonner Park facility by late 2022 with 300 slot machines, five table games, and a grab and go dining option,” said Dan Kehl, CEO for Elite Casino Resorts in a statement.

Construction on the permanent casino will start in 2023 with completion some time in 2025. The resort will offer a 37,000 square foot casino floor with 650 slot machines and 20 table games, a sports book, four restaurants including a rooftop dining experience, a show lounge and sports bar, a 116-room boutique hotel, a salon and spa, gift shop, an indoor and outdoor pool with an expansive deck, and a 400-stall parking garage. The casino will connect to the existing grand stand at the horse track while also providing views of the state fair grounds on the west and horse races on the east.

Elite Casino said in the press release that it would start taking employment applications as soon as the license is approved.

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