In just one year, the casino has had an impact on Mulvane and Sumner County.
“The majority of it is good,” says Luciano Mottola, owner of Luciano’s restaurant in Mulvane.
He enjoying lower taxes and more customers since the casino opened.
Others in Mulvane are also enjoying the benefits.
“Honestly I was against it when they first opened up, but it has had a positive effect on the community,” says Donetta Summers who lives in Mulvane and works at the restaurant.
The Kansas Star not only brought taxes down, the casino has handed out more than a million dollars to area students and teachers in just the last year. It also helped fund other projects.
“They donate to a lot of the schools and it's been great for the community,” says Summers.
The following is a breakdown of the revenue shared with cities and counties and money given to schools in the last year:
- Mulvane – $1,892,058
- Sumner County – $1,892,058
- Sedgwick County – $1,892,058
- $555,000 in reward cards provided to students in Sumner County and Mulvane to help with the costs of back-to-school shopping.
- $369,000 awarded in the form of $1,000 scholarships. These were given to any graduating senior in Sumner County or Mulvane who planned on continuing their education.
- $239,000 given to teachers in Sumner County and Mulvane to help with the costs associated with their classrooms.
But others say it's not all good.
“It's an economic parasite is what it is,” says Glenn Thompson who fought to keep the casino out.
He now focuses his attention on tracking the impact the casino is having on the area.
“It's pulling $178 million out of this area and we're getting back $2 million. That's not a good investment,” says Thompson.
Thompson says that most of the money is coming from the Wichita area and is not the regional draw many expected.
“It's interesting the casino has provided information to the Kansas Lottery that 89 percent of the revenue comes out of this area…exactly what was predicted,” adds Thompson.
He worries more about the other effects a casino can have.
“My concern is for the families impacted.”
He says the benefit is small compared to the overall money lost, He says as years pass the negative impact will be even greater.
But a year after opening, others say it's just the opposite.
“I didn't expect to have to have such a positive impact,” says Summers.