Philadelphia firm approved to take over Valley View Downs

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Valley View Downs has yet another new owner -- and yet another chance to finally make good on its promise to build a racetrack and casino in Lawrence County.

On Thursday, the state's Harness Racing Commission approved the stock transfer of Valley View Downs' assets from its previous ownership group, known as American Harness Tracks, to the new owners, Philadelphia-based Endeka Entertainment.

The transfer is conditional upon Endeka demonstrating that it has access to at least $170 million in construction financing and upon it applying for a casino license to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board within the next two months.

At Thursday's meeting, the Harness Racing Commission also approved the involvement of the new ownership group's individual investors, among them Philadelphia insurance executive Manuel Stamatakis, property developer Peter DePaul and Edward Snider, chairman of Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers.

The stock transfer essentially closes the book on Pittsburgh-based American Harness Tracks, which bought the Valley View Downs project rights at a bankruptcy auction in 2010 from Centaur Inc. of Indianapolis.

Valley View Downs, which exists in name only, has been on the drawing board for a decade.

The harness commission, which usually meets at the state's harness racing properties, met at Harrah's Philadelphia, in Chester.

state - businessnews

Bill Toland: btoland@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2625.


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