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Casino Misses Agreement Deadline

The future of a West Side casino is once again up in the air after the developer and the city failed to meet this week's deadline to work out the details of an agreement reached in May. Two important contingencies were not met opening the possibility for a trial. Penn National and the city had until Tuesday to finalize the deal. The casino would annex its property to the city, and the city would extend water and sewer service to the site. But a part of the deal called for Penn National to sell its original Arena District casino site for at least $11 million. And that has not happened. There is another sticking point. The parent company of The Columbus Dispatch is suing Penn National to force annexation. Penn spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said the printing company agreed to drop its suit, but Tenenbaum said Penn wants more. "Penn National requested some assurance from the Dispatch Printing Company that the company would not continue to try to interfere in the process of getting the casino built, and for whatever reason they were unwilling to give that reassurance," he said. The attorney for the Dispatch tells the newspaper the company would not meet the casino's concessions. Tenenbaum said there are ongoing discussions about the purchase of the Arena District site, but he declined to elaborate. A hearing is set before U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost for Aug. 24.