Topeka — Harrah's Entertainment Inc. officials say the company may leave a casino owned by the Prairie Band of the Potawatomi Nation earlier than planned.
The tribe owns the casino on reservation land in Mayetta, but Harrah's helps run it.
Harrah's and the tribal leaders announced earlier that the tribe would take over management of the casino in January 2008, 10 years after it opened.
But the company and the tribe said Monday that the casino company might leave earlier than expected, although it gave no reason and has no schedule for that.
"It is a possibility, but no date has been set yet," said Sheryl Blue, spokeswoman for Harrah's. "There are some discussions."
Tribal chairwoman Tracy Stanhoff said she couldn't comment on the negotiations.
The Prairie Band Potawatomi, which was forced to move from its homeland to Kansas in the 1840s, is a federally recognized sovereign nation with about 5,000 members.
In August 2004, the casino opened a $55 million expansion. The casino and hotel north of Topeka employ about 1,050 people, making it the largest employer in Jackson County.
In December 2006, Harrah's announced that Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management would acquire Harrah's in a transaction valued near $27.8 billion.
Stanhoff said the tribe was told the sale of Harrah's would not have any adverse effect on the tribe or casino. And she said the tribe was eager to be more self-reliant.
She said the casino maintained its market share and had a great year in 2006.
That helped the tribe open a health clinic last year, Stanhoff said.
"There was a need for additional health care," she said. "We had been underserved for so many years."