Developers seek license for $225M Lawrence County casino, racetrack
A proposal calling for the development of a $225 million racing and gambling facility in Lawrence County was submitted Friday to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Penn National Gaming Inc. announced that it and partner Endeka Entertainment LP submitted the proposal as part of the application for the last state casino license earmarked for a harness racing track.
If the proposed Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort becomes a reality and hires the projected 1,200 full- and part-time employees, it would become the largest employer in the county, said Dan Vogler, chairman of Lawrence County's board of commissioners, which has committed $50 million to the project.
“This has been our No. 1 priority as a board of commissioners because of the potential for significant economic impact for our county and neighboring counties,” Vogler said.
The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission approved the transfer last fall of American Harness Racing stock to Philadelphia-based Endeka. American Harness had bought the project from a bankrupt Indianapolis-based casino company.
In return, Endeka had to verify by Friday that at least $170 million was available for construction; that application would be made for a casino license; and that the project — formerly known as Valley View Downs — would be built in Lawrence County.
“With 11 wholly owned or joint venture pari-mutuel racing facilities, Penn National owns the most racing facilities of any operator in North America,” said Tim Wilmott, president and chief operating officer of Penn National Gaming. “Lawrence Downs ... is a clear indication of our belief in the industry's future.”
The resort would be built on a 250-acre site off Route 422 in Mahoning, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.
It will feature a harness-racing track; about 1,250 slot machines at opening; about 40 live table games and 10 poker tables; and surface parking for 2,000 vehicles, according to Penn National.
“Our initial review will begin next week to see what we have and what still might be needed to complete the application,” said Douglas Harbach, a spokesman for the gaming control board.
The approval process — which includes extensive background checks and public hearings — usually takes nine to 12 months to complete, Harbach said.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Animal welfare groups see opportunities in dialogue about Vick signing
- Board members bring business attitude to nonprofit August Wilson
- Man critical after being shot in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood
- Penn Hills fire displaces 10
- W.Pa. to observe International Overdose Awareness Day
- Port Authority’s plan for car-free communities slow to bear fruit
- Shaler man charged with homicide, abuse of corpse in McKeesport woman’s death
- Solarize Allegheny powers up with more communities
- Penn Hills school board accepts building sale
- Vote on partnership between Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh Public School possible in October
- Newsmaker: Matthew Opdyke