Lawrence Downs Racino Loses Its Last Chance

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The race appears to be over for the Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort project, which after 12 years of false starts failed to harness a gambling license Wednesday from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control board, according to published reports.

A 250-acre site here was first proposed for a harness track and slot machines in 2004, when the project was launched as Valley View Downs. Turnovers in promoters and investors followed along with a series of lawsuits and extensions granted by the regulatory agency while efforts continued to secure $250 million in financing.

It was estimated that the project would create 600 jobs. Lawrence County was prepared to assist with $50 million in financing and Mahoning Township built a $10 million water plant near the proposed site.

Endeka Entertainment, controlled by the CEO of a New Jersey produce distributor, took over the project in 2012.

Most recently, Endeka sought 60 more days to arrange financing for a scaled-down $205 million project. But after hearing testimony yesterday, the board unanimously voted no.

Pictured: Rendering of the project.

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