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Developer Determined to Fight for Columbus Casino

The president of the company that plans to build a casino in Columbus's Arena District says the company wants to work with those who oppose it. But Tim Wilmott told WOSU's Ann Fisher today his company has the resources to fight any legal challenge to the plans approved by Ohio voters in November.

While Ohio voters approved changing the constitution to allow for casinos in four cities, Franklin County voters rejected the Columbus facility.

Wilmott says Penn National considered other sites for a casino but determined that the Arena District parcel was the best because it was completely in the city of Columbus and privately owned, thus easier to buy than a publicly owned site.

He said he regrets not talking with city officials about a location before the amendment was written, but Wilmott said there was not enough time.

When asked if he was willing to fight "a hundred year war" to bring the casino to Columbus, Wilmott said his company has the constitutional right and the financial resources to bring casino gambling to the Arena District.

During his appearance on WOSU's All Sides with Ann Fisher, Wilmott also said his company is prepared to spend whatever money is needed to clean up pollution at the site. City officials say they will return a $750,000 state grant to clean up the parcel, saying the owner promised condos would be built there.

CLICK THE ABOVE PLAYER TO HEAR A SEGMENT OF ANN'S INTERVIEW.

Click to download an mp3 of the entire interview.