PENN 'loan' helps Ohio racino developer

Jun 3, 2013 8:10 PM

Local officials joined with executives from Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) in a ceremonial groundbreaking celebration last week for a new racetrack/video slot terminal (VLT) racino being built in Austintown, Ohio.

The development, near Youngstown, is expected to cost Penn National $125 million but the company is getting help from the Western Reserve Port Authority that is providing $60 million lease financing for the project.

“The capital-leasing program is an appealing option for companies because it provides them with tremendous flexibility,” said Rose Ann DeLeon, the Authority’s executive director.

“That’s why it’s been used in communities across the state to fund a wide variety of projects,” she said in a prepared statement.

Capital-leasing loans are tax-exempt in Ohio.

“Companies can improve the appearance of their balance sheet because financing will not be reflected as a debt of the company, but simply as an operating lease,” it was explained on the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s website on lease financing.

Involved in this racino is a racing license that was relocated from the former Beulah Park racetrack. As such, Penn National has agreed to pay a $75 million relocation fee and a $50 million license fee to the State of Ohio.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-2014.

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at [email protected].

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