Racetrack slots license to get hearing by state

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HARRISBURG -- The state Gaming Control Board expects to hold a suitability hearing by mid- to late September on Centaur Inc.'s request for a racetrack slots license, the key element in plans to build a new $430 million track and casino west of New Castle in Lawrence County.

Centaur officials are still working with their lenders to firm up financing for the project, which has been hampered by their inability, so far, to obtain a slots license from the state and by the ongoing turmoil in the credit markets.

Gaming board investigators said they hope to complete, by early September, background checks of Indianapolis-based Centaur, which now owns a racetrack in Indiana and a casino in Colorado.

Once Centaur completes the renegotiation of its financing, the board said, it may need a few more days to go over that. But it hopes to hold the necessary hearing by late September on the suitability of the Indiana group to build the racetrack/casino.

Centaur has gotten a harness racing license from the state Harness Racing Commission. It recently extended that life of that license from September 2009 to September 2010. If the slots license is granted by the end of this year, the new racetrack/casino might be open by fall 2010.


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