Penn National Gaming presented their fourth plan for the Austintown Racino to the Ohio State Racing Commission. Construction has been stopped over seating concerns.
The latest proposal is in two phases with an option for a possible third phase. The first phase would have 513 indoor seats with table service and a view of the track. A second phase would take place only if demand warranted it. It calls for the enclosure of the existing lower level, which adds 488 indoor seats with table service and a view of the track. This would raise the total number of indoor seats to 1,001. All outdoor seating would be eliminated, because of the racing season which would be October to March. This plan would allow Penn National Gaming to stay within the original footprint for the building.
A third phase could add 466 stadium style seats, but would require an expansion of the original building.
A spokesman for Penn National Gaming has indicated that if an agreement can’t be reached with the state racing commission, they will consider adding VLTs to Beulah Park and not relocating to Austintown.
The racing commission may vote on the latest proposal at their next meeting. Penn National Gaming has stated that if this most recent proposal is accepted at the next meeting, construction could resume immediately and the racino could still open spring 2014.
Penn National Gaming is closer to an agreement with the Ohio Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association over the number of stalls. The original plan called for 500 stalls. The horseman’s association wanted over 1,000. It is believed there is a compromise of 818 stalls in 11 barns.