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Mohegan Sun To Continue its Pocon Downs Casino

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs President Robert Soper threatened to drop the project with what it saw as excessive taxation on the planned slot machine casino in Luzeme County.

Soper said Wednesday, August 9, "We only state things that we mean." They announced that they reached a deal with owner Penn National Gaming Inc. for a $30 million refund on the $280 million purchase price of the construction to proceed.

Penn National was paid $280 million by the Mohegans for Pocono Downs in January 2005. The agreement of the purchased gave them the right to sell the track back to Penn National if the gaming license was not issued by July 1.

However, the state Gaming Control Board had assured the Mohegans that it can expect the license to be granted by the end of September.

The county commissioner Greg Skrepenak is willing to help to grant the application of the refund because hundreds of new jobs could have been lost if the Mohegans pulled its casino.

A $20 million missed opportunity in local tax revenue could have been meant for the two-year delay pointed out by Skrepenak.

He said, "A $15 million investment on our part over five years is something we would do for anybody. The county would still be ahead of the game $5 million."

Soper could not give the definite date to open the casino yet, but he had said in the past that it maybe possible to open the temporary casino by the end of the year. Once the license is issued, the construction would be permanent for the casino with more slots, restaurants, nightclubs and retail shops. That's a total of 14 months to finish Soper said.


Sunday, 10 September 2006
Theo Evans