Grand Island Casino Resort, a temporary casino officially operated by Elite Casino Resorts LLC, has received uncontested validation from the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission to add a craps table, five blackjack tables, one Texas hold ’em poker and one roulette table, as well as 46 extra slot machines, to the extended gaming floor which had its grand opening ceremony later that day, aka Friday, August 18th.
During her presentation to the Nebraska regulator, Sharon Haselhoff, Regional Vice President for Elite Casino Resorts, was asked “how soon it would be before table games were put into action at Grand Island Casino Resort?” To that, she answered: “We’re thinking 6 o‘clock.” Even though she caused laughter with this answer, she was actually just stating a fact. Several minutes later, when approval was granted, she told the Journal Star that “the tables would be operational by the dinner hour.”
As for the staff at said temporary casino, they had already “set up the tables — orange felt, earlier this week and spent some time going through what amounted to a dress rehearsal.”
The first table games ever validated by the regulator:
The approval represents an important step as the casino-resort will reveal “the first live table games ever offered in the state of Nebraska.” Commenting on this, Chairman Dennis Lee commented: “It’s fitting that the honor went to Fonner Park. This is a big day for Grand Island. I think it’s appropriate that Grand Island be the first because of its long history in this state with horse racing.” Chris Kotulak, Fonner Park’s CEO, added: “This is an important moment for the horse racing community, Grand Island and the entire state of Nebraska. The addition of live table games, expanded menu offerings and live entertainment on the weekends at the Grand Island Casino adds a new layer of entertainment to our community and offers a unique experience for both local residents and visitors. It is also another step in the process of rejuvenating the Nebraska Thoroughbred racing industry and the agriculture industry that accompanies it.”
Sports wagering kiosk coming this week:
In addition to the aforementioned approval, the temporary casino was also “given an extended sports wagering catalogue by the regulator” during the said meeting to officially open its sports wagering kiosk in the said extended casino area during this week. The five-member Board validated unopposed to add “futures wagering along with World Boxing Association bouts and — just in time for Sunday’s championship game — men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup Soccer matches.”
However, the said casino-resort continue to manage its operations from its temporary establishment. But, regarding that, Haselhoff said: “The addition of table games, sports betting and a total of 347 slot machines provides its guests with amenities never seen in the state of Nebraska. It creates an environment that is a lot more than gaming. We’re giving more of a resort experience.”