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PA Commission Okays License Deal

Published: July 13, 2011 12:04 pm ET

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On Tuesday, July 12, Pennsylvania's harness racing commission voted to approve American Harness Tracks as the new owners of the state's final harness racing license, which had previously been held by Centaur LLC.

Centaur auctioned off the racing license in the fall of 2010, as it was forced to relinquish it due to bankruptcy reorganization.

"The state has determined that the stock purchase between (Centaur) and American Harness Tracks is consistent with the best interests of the harness racing industry and is therefore approved," Pennsylvania Agriculture Department Spokeswoman Samantha Krepps was quoted as saying in a report by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The article explains that officials in Lawrence County are excited by one stipulation of the deal: that the location of the racino must remain in Lawrence County.

The report also explains that the new ownership group will still have to jump through some hoops very soon. The group has to secure $150 million in financing within 60 days or else it could lose the license. In order for the raceway to become a racino, the group will have to be awarded a casino license by the state gaming control board.

American Harness Tracks' principals include Charles Knoll, Jr., and former MTR Gaming CEO Ted Arneault is also an owner.

The new group will be looking to get the delayed Valley View Downs project off and racing once again.

(With files from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

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