Legal Hurdles Ahead For Harrah’s

A state review board has greenlighted a Harrah’s casino project in Sumner County, Kan., amid numerous upcoming legal challenges and state inspections.

Plans for the $535 million project, which Harrah’s expects will take 24 months to complete, include a 175-room hotel with five restaurants, an amphitheatre, and convention and conference venues, according to the Wichita Eagle.

“We look forward to expanding our support group for this project and working closely with the city of Mulvane, Sumner County and the Kansas State Lottery to bring this project to fruition,” Harrah’s Entertainment vice chairman Chuck Atwood told the paper.

But before Harrah’s can get the project off the ground, it will have to maneuver the Kansas legal system.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation has sued to stop the project, alleging Harrah’s violated a non-compete agreement. The casino giant managed one of the Potawatomi Nation’s properties for more than a decade.

The suit requests a permanent injunction to bar Harrah’s from attempting to “develop, promote or encourage the expansion of any casino gaming in the state,” for one year and “engage in any casino business” in Kansas for two years, according to the Eagle.

On top of that filing, the Harrah’s project could soon find itself embroiled in dueling suits between Sumner County itself and the city of Mulvane over the selection of the casino site.

Harrah’s must also pass a background check by the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission, a process that could take months, the Eagle said.