PA casino trying to stop plans for a New Castle area racino - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

PA casino trying to stop plans for a New Castle area racino

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ERIE, Pa. - If operators of an Erie, Pennsylvania casino have their way, the on again, off again plans for a race track and casino in Lawrence County will be off again, but this time permanently.

Attorneys for Presque Isle Downs have filed paperwork with the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission asking to intervene in the licensing process for Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing resort.

Penn National Gaming, which is also building a thoroughbred race track and slots venue in Austintown, Ohio, announced this summer that it was partnering with Endeka Entertainment to develop a $225-million racing and gaming facility in Mahoning Township, Lawrence County.

Attorney Frederick Santarelli, who represents Presque Isle Downs, tells 21 news that building the gaming facility just 90 miles from Presque Isle would not be good for harness racing in Pennsylvania.

Santarelli says that with the planned facility in Austintown, the market is already saturated.

Presque Isle is asking that the racing commission hold a hearing to give what he calls, "thoughtful review" of plans for Lawrence Downs.

The Lawrence Downs proposal includes a new harness racing facility, about 1,250 slot machines, about 40 live table games and 10 poker tables.

If the proposal is approved, Penn National would own and operate the racino with a one-third ownership stake.

21 News contacted the racing commission for more information, but our calls were not returned.

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