During a press conference at Hanover Shoe Farms on Thursday, January 12, Pennsylvania businessman Dave LeVan announced his intention to apply for and secure the state’s final harness racing licence and gaming licence in order to build Mason-Dixon Downs, a Standardbred racino that would be situated in Freedom Township, which is located in Adams County, close to the Maryland border.
According to an article by the Gettysburg Times, Hanover Shoe Farms President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Simpson flanked LeVan at the press conference and threw his full support behind the proposal. Simpson told members of the media that the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania “strongly supports” the proposal and that he himself may become an investor in the endeavour, stating, “I’m not going to rule out the possibility.”
LeVan’s vision would be situated on a 700-acre property that is located just over three miles from Gettysburg National Military Park. During the press conference, LeVan divulged that he has secured an agreement with the property owner and that he has meetings with township officials set for next month.
LeVan has attempted to develop a PA casino twice since 2006. He acknowledged that his third attempt will not be easy, as it will entail securing both a harness racing licence and a gaming licence in what he expects to be “a competitive process.”
“We have an opportunity to do something special here in Adams County,” he said.
LeVan conveyed that the state horse racing commission is scheduled to meet on January 26 and come up with an application process.
In late December, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order to Mahoning Township that ended the possibility of the much-talked about Standardbred racino Lawrence Downs. The Supreme Court order quashed the township’s appeal of the state’s rejection of the casino licence application. Via that action, the licence formally designated for Lawrence County technically became available to applicants anywhere in the state.
(With files from the Gettysburg Times and the New Castle News)