Casino to open Thursday

The Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma Indian Tribe will officially open the renovated Shriner’s Temple building, home of the 7th Street Casino, on Thursday.

The day’s activities will include a media launch during the afternoon, followed by the official ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. in front of the casino’s 1920s-themed restaurant, Lucky’s Steak and Chophouse.

The renovated casino will feature more than 400 Class II gaming machines spread out over two floors.

The machines would be capable of operating in denominations up to USD 25, but are relegated to offering only bingo-related games.

Tribal officials estimate the renovations cost more than USD 21 million, and included the addition of two wings on the north and south sides of the building to house elevators, restrooms and emergency stairwells.

In addition to gutting the building’s heating and air conditioning systems, the renovations also include the 120-seat restaurant, which was designed, similarly to the rest of the casino, like a speakeasy reminiscent of 1920s America.

The tribe received an unofficial go-ahead last year when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver dismissed a federal case that sought to block the tribe from reopening the casino.

Five years ago, then-Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline initiated proceedings that sought to shut down a casino the tribe had been running in downtown Kansas City, Kan. Kline’s efforts eventually led to a raid of the casino’s facilities.

Since then, the tribe has fought its battles in court. Kansas officials have maintained their plan to press their case that the tribe’s casino is illegal.

“After more than a decade of litigation, we feel that justice has prevailed and we are looking forward to being a vital part of the revitalization of downtown KCK,” Leaford Bearskin, Wyandotte Nation chief, said late last year.

Tribal officials say the casino will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, though they have not determined the hours for the Lucky’s Chophouse.