The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission approved the acquisition of Peninsula Gaming, LLC. by Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. Friday in Dodge City. Peninsula Gaming built and is managing the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane. The Kansas Lottery Commission approved the merger Wednesday. The Lottery also approved transferring Peninsula's management contract with the state to Boyd.
Jay Shadwick, chair of the racing and gaming commission, said the motion to approve the merger was mainly a business decision that required regulatory decisions and approval.
During an executive session in Friday's meeting, Boyd passed background checks and was licensed by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. According to a report by the Wichita Eagle, the commission had been working on a background suitability study of the company.
Shadwick said the Lottery conducted both the initial and in-depth investigations prior to Friday's decision.
“Boyd is a well respected corporation with a successful track record,” Shadwick said.
He said he expects the success of the Kansas Star casino to be continued with minimal changes to current operations. Boyd officials have said they plan no changes in the Kansas Star's management team or plans for the future development. There will also be no changes to anything else mandated in Peninsula's current contract with the state.
A spokesman for the Kansas Star Casino commended the upper management at Peninsula during the meeting, and said the transition with Boyd was going well. He described Boyd as a great fit for the casino and mentioned the company's strong commitment to integrity and appreciation of employees.
“Boyd will add great value,” he said.
The Lottery currently owns and operates the games at the Kansas Star as well as Boot Hill Casino & Resort In Dodge City and Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway.
Boyd's $1.45 billion purchase of Peninsula's five casinos, including the Kansas Star, was announced in May. Boyd owns and operates 17 gaming properties in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana.
The transaction is expected to close on Nov. 20, 2012, according to the Boyd Gaming Corp. website.