Meetings & Information


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fighting over $$$ with Penn National, Hollywood Gaming

Austintown officials lobby for $500,000 racino payment

Posted: Mar 24, 2015 11:25 PM EDTUpdated: Mar 24, 2015 11:37 PM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Leaders from Austintown and five other Ohio communities traveled to Columbus on Tuesday to lobby for money they believe is owed to them by the companies that operate racinos in their localities.

State Senator Joe Schiavoni says that when plans for Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course were still in the talking stages, it was decided that the governor's office, the racino operators and the racing commission would work out a plan to make payments to cover the additional costs of police and fire protection needed by the communities.

The agreement was never worked out.

Earlier this year Governor Kasich vetoed legislation that would have given each of those communities $500,000. Kasich says the bill would have put the state in the position of making those payments instead of the gaming companies.

Schiavoni arranged Tuesday's meeting between township officials and a representative of the governor.

He says local officials are being flexible trying to attain a resolution.

“They're willing to negotiate the amount and the time frame. They just want some of the money they were promised both in writing and verbally in one way or another since the inception of the racinos,” said Schiavoni.

Penn National has pointed out in the past that it has already spent $150 million to relocate racetracks in Ohio.


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