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Potawatomi sue to block Harrah's casino in Sumner County

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August 25, 2008

TOPEKA - The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation filed suit in Shawnee County District Court last Tuesday to block Harrah's Entertainment Inc. from building and managing a casino in Mulvane, small town 15 miles south of Wichita.

On Friday the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board awarded Harrah's a 15 year contract to build and manage a state-owned casino.

The Potawatomi allege that Harrah's casino is violating their non-compete agreement signed in 1996 when Harrah's agreed to manage the tribe's Prairie Band Casino & Resort north of Topeka. Harrah's manage the casino from 1997 through mid-2007.

The Potawatomi-Harrah's contract said that for one year upon termination Harrah's would not seek to "develop, promote or encourage the expansion of any casino gaming in the state," and for two years would not seek to "engage in any casino business" in Kansas.

The tribe contends the contract does not expire until January 13, 2010 and is asking the court to bar Harrah's from proceeding with its casino in Sumner County.

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