his would allow Penn National to open a total of four casinos in the state in four different markets, without local competition from any other gambling facilities.
Slot machines are not currently legal at Ohio’s seven racetracks, but Governor John Kasich is considering a proposal to legalize the devices at the facilities without legislative approval or a statewide vote.
Casino companies, including Penn National, have been lobbying heavily to influence the process in the hope of gaining additional slot-machine licenses; Penn’s proposal to spend US$400 million to build the two new relocated facilities is part of that strategy.
If slot machines are approved at the tracks, Beulah’s operations would be moved 112,65 kilometers west to Dayton, in the southwestern region of the state. Dayton is approximately 48, 28 kilometers east of Indiana, where casinos are legal and 96,56 kilometers north of Kentucky, where casinos are not legal.
Penn’s other Ohio track, the harness facility Raceway Park in Toledo, would be moved 281,64 kilometers east to Youngstown, in the northeastern part of the state, near the border of Pennsylvania, where casinos are legal. A separate investor’s group has announced that they are also seeking a racing license in Youngstown, solely in the hopes of winning a casino license.
Penn National owns 23 gambling facilities in 16 jurisdictions. Peter Carlino, CEO of the company, said that Penn has been actively seeking racetrack properties over the past several years because “racetracks tend to end up with slots. Operating tracks at a loss is not in our long-term plan. We will continue to ratchet down costs. We’ll be tough and brutal about that. We’re not running a public charity.”