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Kasich gets deal with Penn National

Published: Sat, June 18, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.


By David Skolnick



A casino deal reached with Penn National Gaming Inc. will help the company meet another goal: relocating two horse-racing gaming licenses, including one to Austintown.

“We’ve made our intentions very clear in terms of relocating” to the Mahoning Valley, said Bob Tenenbaum, a Penn National spokesman.

Gov. John Kasich announced that Penn National came to an agreement Friday to pay an additional $110 million in fees to the state over a 10-year period for casinos it’s building in Columbus and Toledo.

It’s similar to a deal announced Wednesday between the state and Rock Ohio Caesars, the company building casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Penn National wants to relocate its horse-racing gaming license from Raceway Park, a harness track in Toledo, to a $200 million facility to be built in Austintown at the vacant 186-acre Centerpointe business park, and move Beulah Park in Grove City, near Columbus, to the Dayton area.

Those relocations were contingent on the state’s allowing slot machines — called video lottery terminals or VLTs — at the state’s seven horse racetracks.

Kasich approved VLTs at the racetracks as part of the casino deals.

“We intend to actively participate in the legislative discussion on VLTs and relocation,” Tenenbaum said. “Our goal is to fulfil our desire to relocate those tracks.”

Penn National had the deal in place a few days ago, but backed away at the last minute. It accepted the same proposal offered by Kasich on Friday.

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Canfield, D-33rd, said Friday’s casino deal makes it easier to get the racetrack relocated to Austintown.

“There’s a real opportunity for the Mahoning Valley and Austintown, in particular, to see a track because of the casino agreement,” Gerberry said. “I’m hopeful this works out.”

Kasich took to task those who questioned why he pushed for more money from Penn National and ROC.

“I know that many thought it was futile to push the gaming companies for a better deal, but the governor’s job isn’t just to enforce laws; it’s also to make sure they benefit Ohioans in the greatest possible way,” he said. “This agreement does that and also provides the casinos a more-predictable set of rules so they can be more successful.”


1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 5 years ago

What a masterful job by Gov. Kasich getting the state overe $200 million. Ex-gov Teddy Strickland is probably burying his head in the sand for failing to turn Ohio around.

Next Mr. Kasich needs to focus on restructuring funding for schools and taking the complete burden off the homeowner.

Keep it up Gov and use your Wall Street talents to benefit all the people in the State of Ohio and not just your party.

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2valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years ago

Tremendous job by Governor Kasich to get a MUCH better deal for the State of Ohio in these two agreements! This is a sign of many things to come for Ohio under Kasich!

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3Firdaus(12 comments)posted 5 years ago

Hey Chuck,
Did you ever consider the incredible and devastating effects a gambling institution has on a community. When gamblers cash runs dry? Prostitution sets up shop, underage gambling, drinking, binge gambling, increasing foreclosures on top of what we have...and then all these people will need social resources since no one has health insurance, day care, etc....When gamblers have no more money and no one is gambling, there's suddenly a big white elephant crumbling on 200 acres now. Penn will build it for nothing practically, since Penn will be collecting 30-40% profit margins over 10 years, so they will easily make up the 110 million and in exactly 10 years they will leave. And now look what happened to a prime piece of property in Austintown, that could have sustained a new home development (that collects taxes for 50-60 years) or a mall perhaps, or large anchor stores, or anything else but a casino. Any answers for that Mr. Carney. Ever wonder why the area around Mountaineer looked the way it does, but Mountaineer looks like they are the only ones in town with cash? I DIDN'T THINK SO. And don't bring up a vanished industry in the Wheeling area from the past. Smart local and state political leaders could have brought in lots of other companies with proper legislation. Hope you're alive in 10 years to see what your support will bring.

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4valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years ago

Firdaus, as an Austintown resident, Route 46 is poised to become a smaller version of Route 224 in the next few decades. That plot of land was NEVER going to be used for residential development. It was zoned commercial for a reason. There is a ton of land in Austintown for residential developments along New Road and Kirk Road along Route 11 a few miles north of this location.

Furthermore Firdaus, please remember that the voters of the State of Ohio legalized casino gambling in this state. If you don't like that, then that's too damn bad. Majority rules in this country.

The argument against gambling is the same thing over and over again. Yes there is some merit to that argument, but the jobs created, the economic development Austintown will see along Route 46, and the additional tax revenue for this township FAR outweighs the cons. And what can Austintown do with the additional tax revenus; hire more cops so crime doesn't become a problem, because it currently is not a major issue in Austintown.

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5Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years ago

When your looking to gambling for some sort of better tomorrow your done.

Gambling is an addiction -one of the worst .How do I know?I have an uncle who has been counseling addicts for over 30 years in Florida.He travels all over the country to help his clients and he told me gambling is the most addictive. Simply put it ruins lives and not just the life of the gambler.

Lets do something because doing something even if it is stupid and destructive because that is better than doing nothing. - - -Ah no!

The same hope that those in Austintown cling to is the same hope that gamblers hope for - a big win tomorrow that never comes.

The jobs angle is a joke.This outfit isn't out to help the valley and there is no win win.They are out to strip what little people have left and leave sticking the tax payers with the bill.If they were so awesome why are they leaving where they are now?

As for doing something else with the land , how about common sense. Make it a park where folks can go and enjoy nature close to home. Listen, the population is sinking and without real jobs it isn't coming back.

More shopping malls and new developments aren't realistic.How many more empty stores do we need in this valley while new ones are churned out.How many more offices need to be built on speculation wasting land and money?

Who always ends up paying for mal investments?Do you really think these folks are going to take the hit?Wise up.

The only way to correct the trend is to make things here again and at a living wage so people can buy things and support businesses.

Repeal the non free free trade laws , back up our currency with a precious metal and start protecting our countries interest and make things here. Otherwise it is doomed from the start and no more than smoke up the ...Politicians will tell you anything you want to hear to pitch their sell.The truth will set you free.

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6valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years ago

Why does Austintown need another park? Austintown Township Park is enough. Furthermore, what township park is going to be 200+ acres?!

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7Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years ago

" Furthermore, what township park is going to be 200+ acres?!" - - -- - Boardman 's is over 200 acres and it is very very popular.

"Why does Austintown need another park? Austintown Township Park is enough." - - -I disagree.Parks are generally associated with a more desirable township.People tend to like them to look at and enjoy without having to drive out of their way with the cost of gas being what it is.I for one would rather see park land than more crappy office space with for lease signs in front of them.We only have so many doctors and attorney's here in our area where the population is leaving.Lets get smart about it and be honest.

Is there not enough useless development in this valley already? Remember the big housing boom 6 years ago that helped lead us to the financial ruin we are in as a country today?The tax payer foots the bill. Enough of that already.

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