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Penn National Gaming Moves Along With Columbus Casino Plan

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Penn National Gaming does not believe that voters will turn away a casino amendment allowing the company to build a casino at the site of a former Delphi auto plant in Columbus. That is why they are going ahead with demolition plans.

On Monday, the demolition work will begin, regardless of the outcome of the vote in May. The company is looking to get the casino built and open as quickly as possible, and that leaves no room to wait for the May vote.

"Penn National owns that land, so this is work that's going to have to be done at some point anyway," said Bob Tenenbaum, Spokesman for the Issue 2 campaign, as reported by Business First of Columbus. If the initiative does not pass, Penn National still has the option to sell the land.

Last November, voters in Ohio approved four casinos for the state. The residents of Ohio had turned away casino gambling several times before, but the promise of thousands of jobs was too good to pass up with the unemployment rate rising.

The city's that won the right to casinos were Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo. The ballot question in November was specific to location. The Columbus casino was set to be built in the Arena District.

Business owners and community leaders, however, voiced their concern about the casino in the heart of a family friendly atmosphere. Penn National agreed to change the location to the former Delphi auto plant site.

In order to make the change, however, Penn National needed an amendment to the original law. That amendment requires voter approval. Although voters must go back to the polls, there has not been much opposition to the change of location.

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