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Harness-racers must prove finances or lose county license

8/25/2011 | Real Estate Blog

Developers must comply with numerous local, state and federal regulations before any actual construction can begin. Keeping track of all of the laws and regulations can be difficult and often require the close assistance of an attorney. Developing land for gambling and harness-racing, however, requires compliance with a whole new set of laws. The last Pennsylvania harness-racing company is finding out that securing the rights to develop a harness-racing track and casino requires jumping through a lot of hoops.

The development process has been long and strenuous. The Lawrence County commissioners who are responsible for approving and supporting the racing and casino complex have been working for seven years to get the development finalized. Three different sets of commissioners have thrown their support behind developing the area in Mahoning Township, Pennsylvania.

It seems that the county commissioners finally have a developer in their reach, too. The company has the last license to construct a harness-racing center in Pennsylvania. The company has already solicited financial support from Lawrence County after the county commissioners voted to use a certain percentage of how much the county would earn in casino profits to defer the costs of constructing Valley View Downs.

Although, the commissioners still expect the company to fund a portion of the project itself. The company must show the Harness Racing Commission that it has sufficient funds, $150 million, to contribute toward the project by September 12. If it fails to comply with this requirement, the company could lose its license and would not be able to build the track and gambling complex.

The recent move by the commissioners is intended to help the company raise the remaining capital needed to pay for the $500 million construction project. The commissioners believe that if the company can show that the county will support it, other investors will be more likely to contribute.

Source: Beaver County Times, “County board commits unsecured funding to track, casino,” Eric Poole, Aug. 24, 2011