New Castle News

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March 7, 2014

Tentative casino hearing date set

NEW CASTLE — May 8 is the tentative date for a public hearing for Lawrence County residents to comment on the proposed casino.

The Mahoning supervisors announced the date Thursday. The hearing for Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort will be in the township.

State Rep. Chris Sainato confirmed the date. “May 8 is a good day,” he said, noting it is his birthday.

“I was told the public hearing has been scheduled for that date. It will be a good way to celebrate,” he said. “This is a major step forward. Nothing else can happen until that happens.”

However, Richard McGarvey of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would not confirm the date.

“Before a casino license can be granted, a public input hearing must be held in the host municipality and the public will be invited to speak.”

After the seven-member board hears from the public, McGarvey said, a suitability hearing will be conducted in Harrisburg. At that time, board members will question the license applicant — Endeka Entertainment.

The gaming board’s website is not yet set up to give local residents who wish to speak the opportunity to register, McGarvey said.

Lawrence County Commissioner Dan Vogler, who attended the Feb. 26 meeting of the gaming board, said he had been told a spring hearing was being considered.

Vogler said no date has been finalized.

“They must select a day that works with all seven board members’ schedules and the staff schedule.”

Vogler noted he had been told gaming board officials have begun meetings with the Mahoning Township secretary to finalize details.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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