Tyrone council tables gaming issue

TYRONE — Borough Council on Monday tabled its decision on whether to opt out of the potential for hosting a mini- or satellite casino, an opportunity authorized by recent amendments to the state’s Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.

Council asked its solicitor to draw up a resolution that would prohibit such a casino, so council can weigh the pros and cons and consult residents before deciding in December whether to adopt it.

Municipalities have until the end of the year to opt out, or be subject to the potential for development of a Category 4 casino that could include between 300 and 750 slot machines and eventually up to 50 table games, most likely as an outreach of an existing casino, according to a letter from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

“What can (opting out) do for us — or against us?” Councilman Bob Dollar asked.

“We’ll probably get a little bit of moral pushback,” said Borough Manager Ardean Latchford.

“I don’t really approve,” said Councilman Dave Snyder. “But I don’t want to (deny the borough an economic opportunity).”

The borough’s location between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and its location along I-99, could make it an attractive site for a mini-casino, said Mayor Bill Latchford.

While the borough is mostly built out, there are a few tracts that could host such a development — the former Big Yank property around 16th Street and South Lincoln Avenue and an adjacent property that used to be a junkyard, the mayor said.

The additional month will give council members “a chance to mull it over,” the mayor said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.