- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An investor in a proposed Pennsylvania racetrack casino said the project could die if state regulators enforce recently imposed deadlines.

The state Harness Racing Commission in October approved a racing-license transfer for the proposed Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort, about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Joseph Procacci, owner of a Philadelphia-based produce supplier, and his investors bought the project from a group of businessmen in September. He has plans to build the casino for $210 million, which includes a $50 million bond for the casino license.

Procacci’s lawyer, John O’Riordan, told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (https://bit.ly/1NHkPfn ) that Procacci will likely revoke that bond and end the project if Harness Racing Commissioner Jonathan Newman doesn’t rescind strict deadlines he’s imposed.

Those deadlines include breaking ground and completing 25 percent of construction by October and providing financing proof to build the project by Jan. 21.

Newman said failing to meet such deadlines would result in losing the racing license.

O’Riordan said the deadlines are “absolutely unworkable and untenable.” He said they fail to account for potential appeals that could be filed by competing casinos in the state and delay the project.

He said losing the project would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and potentially deprive Lawrence County of 1,000 construction and casino jobs.

A motion for reconsideration was filed Nov. 25. The commission has until Dec. 25 to decide on the appeal.


Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com

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