Payment debate sparked over Austintown Racino

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) — Austintown and Dayton are supposed to get $500,000 a piece now that they have race tracks, but there is a debate on where that money is coming from.

The first payment is due on Dec. 31. Penn National, is already paying $75 million for race track relocation.

House Bill 386 spells out how the money is supposed to be spent, including for gambling addiction. The rest of the money goes to the state’s general fund.

Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D) District 33, said one option is for Penn to pay it, and the other is to get it out of the state, which would require new legislation.

“We only have three weeks  of session left. Now that seems very short, and it’s short but I have seen bills move in a day when the right people want them to move. So if the governor says, ‘hey let’s move this bill,’ then we’re going to move the bill,” said Schiavoni.

“We feel strongly that the governor’s office is committed. We met last week with the governor’s office as well as the racing commission and local officials and we’re going to do our very, very best to get this accomplished in the next couple of weeks,” added Rep. Ron Gerberry (D) District 59.

Gerberry said he plans on making a call to the governor’s office Monday morning.

First News reached out to Penn National and they didn’t want to comment while discussions were still happening.


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