he new Crosswinds Casino, owned by the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, opened to the public Tuesday night in Park City, Kansas.
The new gaming property is set up in a 20,000 square-foot one-room building and is filled with 500 slot machines, 200 VGT machines with red spins, The Wichita Eagle reports. There’s also a separated-off area with high stakes slot machines. Most of the blinking, glowing machines have small Plexiglass barriers separating them from their neighbors.
The 24-hour casino, which employs 150 people, also includes a restaurant and bar area called Bottles & Bites. For now, the casino will be allowing a maximum of 375 people at a time inside, which means there could be lines to get in, especially during the first weeks.
On Tuesday, Wyandotte Nation Chief Billy Friend addressed a large crowd gathered to celebrate the casino’s opening. It included government officials from both Park City and Wichita, including Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse, who participated in the official ribbon cutting.
The Wyandotte Nation also runs the Lucky Turtle and Wyandotte Nation casinos in Oklahoma and the 7th Street Casino in Kansas City, Kansas.
The tribe first bought the 10.5 acres of land in 1991, Friend said, but faced years of legal struggle to get clearance to open the casino. In May of last year, the federal government granted the tribe, whose headquarters are in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, a land trust in Park City that would allow gaming. Then, in August, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced a federal suit seeking to block gaming at the casino. It sits just 30 miles from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, which was guaranteed an exclusive market in south Central Kansas for 25 years — until 2032.
The legal proceedings are ongoing, but Judge Holly Teeter in November ruled against the plaintiffs in a motion for a preliminary injunction. “I just want to say it’s been a long time coming,” Friend told the crowd of tribe officials and VIPs gathered outside the casino for the ribbon cutting.