A developer says he has plans to build a $300 million racino near Youngstown, Ohio, which if approved would make it the first new racetrack approved in the Buckeye State in 60 years.
Rick Lertzman, chairman of the Mahoning Valley Development Group, announced that a press conference detailing the plan will be held in Youngstown today. One roadblock would be that video lottery terminals at the state's racetracks, proposed by former governor Ted Strickland, are not yet deemed to be legal.
The racing industry has been waiting to hear what the state's new chief executive will do. Today's edition of the Youngstown Vindicator quotes a spokesman for new governor John Kasich, Rob Nichols, who said, "The governor recognizes it can bring in considerable revenue, but there are societal issues."
Nichols also told the newspaper that the governor wants a study of Ohio's gaming industry completed before any such decisions are made.
The Youngstown racino would host Thoroughbred racing, only, according to its website, www.mahoningvalleydowns.com.
by John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association