Pennsylvania Racino Developer Seeks More Time

Endeka Entertainment is asking for an additional six months to find a new partner for its Lawrence Downs racino project after the pullout of Penn National.

Endeka Entertainment, the group of investors seeking the last Category 1 racino license in Pennsylvania for its Lawrence Downs project in the northwest end of the state, is asking regulators for an extension on documentation deadlines as it seeks a new partner.

Penn National Gaming had signed a partnership agreement with Endeka, a consortium of prominent Philadelphia investors, to build and operate the racino in Lawrence County, a project that has gone through several owners since its original conception. On March 30, Penn National pulled out of the arrangement, citing market saturation.

Endeka has sued Penn, alleging the operator intentionally sabotaged the project to protect its racino 20 miles away in Youngstown, Ohio. Penn has sued to establish its right to back out of the deal.

Mahoning Township supervisors have filed a separate lawsuit against Penn National, seeking $4 million plus damages to compensate for site work including installation of a sewer line to accommodate the project.

Endeka investors, who include insurance magnate Manuel Stamatakis and Comcast Spectacor chairman Edward Snider, are asking the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for six months to find a new partner and finalize the project financing.

Lawrence County Commissioner Dan Vogler told the New Castle News that he will ask the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to save the project. “I have not given up,” he said. “I will be in Harrisburg next week to attend the gaming board meeting. I believe it will be very important to hear what Endeka has to say to the board and what questions the board will ask of them.”