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Developer has 2 casino proposals for Mulvane

March 16, 2009

TOPEKA Nearly four months after Harrah's withdrew its plans for a state-owned casino in Sumner County, there is renewed interest in the project. Equity Ventures of Topeka, which had been an investment partner with Harrah's, is planning to submit two applications for a resort casino near Mulvane.

Equity Ventures spokeswoman Nancy Seitz said the proposal involves the same group of Topeka investors associated with Harrah's plan, but would not give specifics about the Equity proposal. She did say the project would be funded by cash.

"This partner has extensive gaming experience and is well-capitalized. The all-cash development will overcome the problems that caused the previous applicants to withdraw," she said.

Seitz said Equity will propose two locations. One is the former Harrah's site near the Kansas Turnpike and another is about three miles east of the Turnpike. She said Equity prefers the turnpike location, but that land is involved in litigation with the city of Mulvane over annexation.

The deadline for submitting new applications to the Kansas Lottery is April 1.

Although Equity is the first and only company to announce their intentions to submit a casino application, there may be others according to Ed Van Petten, the lottery's executive director.

"We have had a number of people calling and asking questions," Van Petten said. "We always expected we would get applications, but to my knowledge we have had no names."

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