Day At The Track

Dreams for new harness track have ended

12:59 AM 15 Jul 2016 NZST
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Harness racing
PA Gaming Control Board votes against new racetrack/casino

The hopes for a multi-million-dollar harness racing track/casino in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania ended Wednesday as reported by the New Castle News.

After 45 minutes of deliberation, following an almost three-hour hearing, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted unanimously to deny Endeka Entertainment’s casino license application. The vote ended the 12-year effort to locate a racetrack/casino in Mahoning Township.

The gaming board’s action was at the recommendation of its enforcement counsel, Cyrus Pitre.

“It was not the kind of news you want to hear,” said Attorney John O’Riorden, representing Endeka and its majority stockholder, Philadelphia produce giant Joseph Procacci, who attended the hearing.

“Mr. Procacci is very disappointed with the decision of the gaming board, but not bitter,” O’Riorden said. “He had hoped the board would give us an additional 60 days to finalize our financing. We had told them if we were unable to do so, in that 60-day extension, we would voluntarily withdraw and that would be the end of it. But the board did not give us the additional time.”

O’Riorden said the new financial partners, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, attended the hearing. He adds that Procacci, 89, is “exploring his options.”

The project, first proposed in 2004, envisioned a multi-million-dollar facility at Routes 422 and 551 in Mahoning Township that would have included the state’s only one-mile harness racing track, slot machines, a full casino and restaurants and entertainment venues.

Procacci entered the effort to bring a racetrack/casino to Lawrence County in May 2015, after Penn National Gaming pulled out of the project.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

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