NEW CASTLE —
The horses may be heading to the gate.
With a license to operate a harness racetrack in hand, Endeka Entertainment LP and Penn National Gaming Inc. have applied for the project’s long-awaited casino license.
Yesterday, the partners announced plans to develop Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort, a $158.5 million racetrack/casino facility in Mahoning Township. The announcement, 10 years in the making, comes one day after Penn National broke ground for a thoroughbred racetrack in Austintown, Ohio.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board received the casino license application late yesterday.
In a press release issued last night, Penn National said Lawrence Downs will feature a harness racing facility and a casino containing approximately 1,250 slot machines at opening with capacity for up to 1,500 machines, 40 live table games and 10 poker tables.
Penn National, the project developer and manager, will pay $66.5 million in fees, which include a $50 million license fee bond. The company will fund $15 million through a loan. Penn National also acquires the option to purchase a one-third ownership interest.
“We are particularly pleased to bring this economic development project to Lawrence County as it will generate a significant number of new local jobs and other benefits,” said Manuel Stamatakis, Endeka’s managing general partner, in the press release.
Penn National spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said the Mahoning Township site “does not lessen Penn National’s commitment to the Austintown facility.”
Ground was broken this week for a $125 million racetrack and video lottery terminal parlor located about 20 miles from the proposed Lawrence County location on Route 422 at Baird Road.
“Our belief was always that eventually the Lawrence County facility was going to be built,” he said. “It makes more sense for us to be involved (with the project) rather than compete.”
Tenenbaum said the two facilities no doubt will compete to some degree but there is opportunity for cooperation in a business sense.
The partnership also positions Penn National to compete with gaming facilities in Erie, Pittsburgh, Washington County and West Virginia.
Doug Harbach of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board confirmed the casino license application was received. An application review and background investigation will take place.
“We will also be gathering public input, seeking comments from citizens, officials and the community where the casino will be.”
This will include a public hearing in Mahoning Township. He added there is no timetable for competition.
“The investigation will take as long as it takes,” he said.
Lawrence County commissioner Dan Vogler said the conditions placed on Penn National and Endeka by the harness racing commission are being met.
“That seems to be sufficient at this time,” he said, adding, “I hope when the public hearing is held, the community turns out to show support.”
(Relive the magic of New Castle’s WPIAL championship basketball season by purchasing a collectible DVD or special section that was given out at the team’s banquet. Both were produced by the New Castle News. For more details, CLICK HERE.)
NEW CASTLE —
The horses may be heading to the gate.
- Hot Topics
Public hearing for casino could be in spring
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board could turn its focus to Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort this spring. Lawrence County Commissioner Dan Vogler, who attended the board’s meeting in Harrisburg this week, said he and staff members informally discussed a timetable for the upcoming public hearing on the gaming application submitted by Endeka Entertainment.
Our Opinion: After five years, Jordan Brown case continues — sadly for all
It’s not unusual for newspapers to look back on major news events when key anniversaries come about. So it was that the New Castle News has been running articles on the fifth anniversary of the 2009 slaying of Kenzie Houk, and the subsequent arrest of Jordan Brown for the crime.
Jordan Brown Case, Five Years Later: Defense attorney learns ‘to expect the unexpected’
On the morning of Feb. 21, 2009, attorney Dennis Elisco met a boy who changed his life. Thursday marked the five-year anniversary in the case of 16-year-old Jordan Brown.
Jordan Brown Case, Five Years Later: After half a decade, intrigue and questions remain
Unusual aspects of Jordan Brown’s case drew national and international attention. Now 16, Jordan was 11 when he was charged as an adult with two counts of homicide in the fatal shooting of his father’s pregnant fiancée, Kenzie Marie Houk, 26.
Jordan Brown Case, Five Years Later: Father convinced beyond a doubt of son’s innocence
The broken-hearted father of Jordan Brown is rebuilding his life while remaining strong for his son. Jordan is charged in the fatal shooting five years ago of his father’s pregnant fiancée, Kenzie Houk. She was killed in the New Beaver Borough farmhouse the couple shared with Jordan, then 11, and her daughters, who were 7 and 4.
Jordan Brown Case, Five Years Later: Juvenile advocate in teen’s corner
Dan Dailey has raised money and provided support for Jordan Brown’s defense team. Now a 16-year-old, Jordan was 11 when he was charged as an adult with two counts of homicide in the fatal shooting of his father’s pregnant fiancée, Kenzie Marie Houk, 26.
Jordan Brown Case, Five Years Later: Victim’s family ‘coming along’
Second in a series: It’s been five years since Jordan Brown, then 11, was charged with fatally shooting his father’s pregnant fiancée, yet family members on both sides are still searching for answers. Reporter Nancy Lowry explores this historic case in a special series.
Jordan Brown Case, Five Years Later: Family gathers at cemetery, again
For the fifth time, the Houk family has marked the death of their Kenzie Marie and her unborn son. About two dozen friends and family members gathered Thursday night at Parkside Cemetery for the annual memorial service.
Jordan Brown Case, Five Years Later: Reluctant to comment, prosecutor remains ready
Prosecutors stand ready to bring the Jordan Brown case to its conclusion. Anthony J. Krastek, Pennsylvania senior deputy attorney general, took over prosecution of the case in January 2010.
PDF: Jordan Brown timeline of events
Reporter Nancy Lowry and paginator Bob Fusco outline the key events in the Jordan Brown case through the last five years.
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- Public hearing for casino could be in spring