Penn National Files Lawsuit against Strata 33 Investments LLC regarding Franklin Township Casino

Casino facility developer Penn National Gaming Incorporated is fighting back at a division of the publisher of the Columbus Dispatch, stating in a federal lawsuit that its arguments over the group regarding the project have reached the level of unfair trade practices and dishonest competition. In a lawsuit filed before the US District Court of Columbus on May 9th, 2011, Monday, Penn National subsidiary Central Ohio Gaming Venture LLC alleged that Strata 33 investments LLC, a division of the Dispatch Printing Co.'s Capital Square Ltd real estate group, has decided to dishonestly interfere with the Penn National's ability to exercise its constitutional rights to build a casino. Penn National is petitioning a judge to release a restraining order that will stop the subsidiary from interfering with the casino project by spreading false information. The newest development in this situation is when the Columbus Dispatch affiliate acquired the land adjacent to the Franklin Township casino location so it could have the power to object to the application of Penn National for a county zoning permit. While the group has received a building permit from the Department of Commerce in Ohio for the $400 million dollars casino project, the zoning permit was dismissed last month due to lack of information. Penn National stated in the lawsuit that the Dispatch is trying to use a routine administrative procedure for their own agenda. The lawsuit is the newest development regarding the casino location's annexation into Columbus, Ohio that has caused lawsuits from Dispatch and Penn National. Columbus will not be providing sewer and water services until Penn National annexes but the group is hoping for public aid to help cushion losses from their original Arena District location, stating that annexation is only one part of a larger set of important issues like incentives. Columbus Dispatch officials said that it wants Penn National to fulfil their promise on annexation but Penn National officials said that Dispatch is trying to get the project cancelled altogether. Penn National spokesperson Bob Tenenbaum said that they had no choice but to file the lawsuit to protect their interests on the project. The lawyer for Columbus Dispatch could not be reached for a comment regarding the issue.


14 2011