Officials tout Austintown racino's benefits at hearing

AUSTINTOWN — At an Ohio Senate Committee meeting today, political, business and union officials, touted the benefits of a proposed racino in the township that's been delayed because the state racing commission finds the facility's plans for horse racing to be insufficient.

Members of the state Senate Workforce And Economic Development committee had what chairman, Sen. Bill Beagle of Tipp City, R-5th, called an "informal hearing" to "get the project moving."

"If this project comes to fruition, it will boost our sluggish housing market, provide jobs and additional revenue to our township," Austintown Township Trustee Lisa Oles.

Penn National Gaming Inc. said the state commission wanting more seating and other changes at the track, to be called the Hollywood Slots at Mahoning Valley Race Course, could delay construction by six months.

However, members of the organization that represents horse owners and trainers said video slot machines at the proposed Austintown site could greatly help the state's struggling horse racing business, but Penn National's plan is inadequate.

For details, watch and see Friday's Vindicator.

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