As expected, Penn National Gaming applied for annexation of its Columbus casino to the city. In its last meeting before a 30 day summer recess, City Council certified that the city is capable of providing water and sewer service to the casino site.
The Franklin County commissioners will next vote on annexation at their August 23rd meeting. If approved, City Council will then take a final vote. By law, a 60-day wait period is required before final approval can be granted; so if all goes well, annexation should take place by the end of October. This will enable Columbus to begin collecting income taxes from the construction workers.
Nationwide Realty Investors will pay Penn National $11 million for the former casino site in the Arena District. That land is expected to be developed as residences.
Penn National will now switch its focus to getting the casino built and workers hired. The new general manager, Ameet Patel, stated that he expects the Columbus casino to become the “flagship of Penn National.” The 300,000 square foot casino will house 3,000 slot machines, 70 table games and a poker room. There will be 3,500 temporary construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs. Hiring for the permanent positions is expected to begin in the summer of 2012 and the casino still hoping to open in the fourth quarter of 2012.