Argosy parent withdraws from Pennsylvania casino project

From Illinois Business Journal news services

 WYOMISSING, Pa. – Penn National Gaming, Inc., the parent company of Alton-based Argosy Casino, said today it is withdrawing from a long-planned casino project in Pennsylvania.

The company informed the partners of Endeka Entertainment LP of its intent to withdraw from the proposed Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort project. An application by Endeka for the proposed $225 million integrated racing and gaming facility in Lawrence County, Pa., has been pending before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board since May 2013.

“We are disappointed to be withdrawing from this project,” stated BJ Fair, chief development officer for Penn National Gaming. “However, given the continued softness in the economy and the level of market saturation — not just in Western Pennsylvania, but across the Commonwealth — we are regrettably unable to justify this investment at the statutorily required spending levels,” said Fair.

“We sincerely appreciate the strong support for this proposal by the people of Lawrence County, and while we will not be going forward with the project, we have offered to assist with the transition to another potential operator,” said Fair.

In conjunction with its announcement, Penn National today filed a complaint, including a request for declaratory judgment, in Berks County Court of Common Pleas.

“We are disappointed that our continued open dialogue with the partners in Endeka about the deteriorating market conditions in Lawrence County, and our multiple offers to cooperate fully in transitioning the project to a new operator, have been met only with threats of legal action,” said Fair. “We’re asking the court to reaffirm our rights regarding withdrawal.”

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