Port Authority to Provide $60 Million in Racino Funding

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A major financial boost was provided Thursday for the racino being built in Austintown.

The Western Reserve Port Authority voted to move forward with $60 million in capital lease financing for the Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

Penn National Gaming will use the money to purchase fixed assets for the facility such as buildings, stables and the racetrack. They will then make annual lease payments to the Port Authority to cover repayment costs.

WRPA Board President Scott Lynn said Penn National Gaming will invest an additional $65 million for the project, which will feature 1,500 video lottery terminals along with thoroughbred racing.

“The project is a win-win-win,” said Lynn. “It showcases the Port Authority’s ability to offer unique financing options that spur economic growth in the region, and it will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs. I’d say that’s quite a trifecta.”

The $125 million project is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs and an additional 1,000 jobs when it opens next year. Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2014.

“I think this is a showcase to other businesses or to those looking to come into the region of that not just we have but what other public entities and the state has,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rose Ann DeLeon. “We could put great packages together. We hope to help those here and attract those looking to come here.”

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