Grand Island Casino Resort and Fonner Park has received a casino operator license and approval on the hours of operation from the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. The approval passed with unanimous support.
Doors to the casino will open Tuesday, December 27, 2022 at noon following a ribbon-cutting
ceremony. The temporary casino is located in the concourse of Fonner Park adjacent to the Van Berg
Family Collection and the Nebraska Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame display.
Dan Kehl, CEO of Elite Casino Resorts said: “We are excited to partner with Fonner Park, which
held its first race almost 70 years ago. It’s very fitting that our temporary casino surrounds the
Racing Hall of Fame starting a new chapter in Fonner history” Kehl added, “I thank the Nebraska
Racing and Gaming Commission for their leadership and diligence in the process and approval
of our application and look forward to a long future between Elite Casino Resorts, Fonner Park,
and Grand Island.”
The temporary casino features approximately 300 slot machines, horse betting kiosks, and a
snack bar. Guests will be required to present a valid ID to gain entry to the casino in accordance
with Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission regulations. The casino will be open Sunday
through Thursday 8:00 am until Midnight, Friday and Saturday 8:00am until 3:00 am.
“My mission is to provide for the horses, horsemen, staff and the guests of Fonner Park. The
introduction of casino revenue puts us on a path of regenerating a once thriving Thoroughbred
racing industry in Nebraska,” said Fonner Park CEO, Chris Kotulak.
The temporary casino will operate until the full resort is completed. Construction on the full
resort is expected to begin in the fall of 2023 and will feature 650 slot machines, 20 table
games, a sports book, a variety of dining options including top floor dining at Ruthie’s Steak &
Seafood, live weekend entertainment on the show lounge, sports bar, a 116-room boutique
hotel, a salon and spa, gift shop, and indoor and outdoor pool with an expansive deck.