Big day for Fonner Park as temporary gaming application approved


Grand Island, Nebraska (KSNB) – The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission has unanimously approved casino operator licenses and operating hours for the Grand Island Casino Resort and Fonner Park.

“This afternoon was a momentous event in the history of Fonner Parks,” said Chris Kotulak, CEO of Fonner Parks.

At noon on Tuesday, December 27th, the doors will open at the temporary casino after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The temporary casino is located in the concourse of Foner Park adjacent to the Van Berg Family Collection and the Nebraska Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame exhibit.

A display at the casino entrance in Fonner Park at the temporary Grand Island Casino Resort.(Fonner Park)

“We are delighted to partner with Fonner Park, which hosted its first race nearly 70 years ago,” said Dan Kehl, CEO of Elite Casino Resorts. “It is very fitting that our temporary casino surrounds the Horse Racing Hall of Fame and begins a new chapter in Fonner’s history. We thank you for your recognition and look forward to a long future between Elite Casino Resorts, Fonner Park and Grand Island.”

The temporary casino has approximately 300 slot machines, a betting booth, and a snack bar. Guests are required to present valid ID in order to enter the Casino as regulated by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. The casino is open Sunday through Thursday from 8 AM to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 8 AM to 3 AM.

Kotulak said casino gambling has become very important to the existence of thoroughbred horse racing. He said those who voted for this in 2020 want lower property taxes, and he hopes GI Casino Resorts will emulate what we see in Lincoln’s Warhorse.

“My mission is to feed the horses, jockeys, staff and guests of Fonner Park. The introduction of casino revenue puts us on a path to revitalizing Nebraska’s once-thriving Thoroughbred horse racing industry,” said Kotulak. says Mr.

He thanked local contractors who provided labor for the construction project, including Chief Industries, Jerry’s Sheet Metal and Middleton Electric.

Grand Island Casino
Grand Island Casino(Fonner Park)

The temporary casino will operate until the full resort is completed. Construction of the entire resort is set to begin in fall 2023 and will feature 650 slot machines, 20 table games, a sports book, top-floor dining at Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood, and weekend live entertainment at Show. It features a variety of dining options including; There is a lounge, sports bar, 116-room boutique hotel, salon and spa, gift shop, and indoor and outdoor pools with expansive decks.


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