Crafty work keeps Del Pointe legislation in the racino race
Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, brought House Bill 194 to the floor and immediately tabled the measure Wednesday, June 24.
Schwartzkopf, House majority leader and the bill’s primary sponsor, gathered the votes necessary to suspend House rules.
The bill would allow an entity that has been granted a Delaware thoroughbred or harness racing license as of Sept. 1, 2008, to become a video lottery – slots – agent, and open a casino.
The bill applies to Del Pointe exclusively as it is the only qualifying entity.
“The racetrack and casino complex is proposed for Millsboro and would include a 1-mile harness racing track, casino, water park, indoor sports complex, paintball park, movie theaters and restaurants.
The legislation had been assigned to the House Gaming & Pari-mutuels Committee, but with no committee meeting scheduled before the Tuesday, June 30 end of session, the measure could have died.
“It was never my intention to work House Bill 194 before we leave on June 30,” Schwartzkopf said.
He said the governor could call the House back before January for a special session to consider table games.
“I want this bill to be in a position to be considered at the same time as table games if that occurs,” Schwartzkopf said.
Preston Schell, a Del Pointe principal, said the racino proposal is still Delaware’s all-around best bet.
Schell said considering the state’s cash-strapped position, “if they’re looking around for $20 million dollars,” Del Pointe is the right project and right place to look.
He said Del Pointe is running without blinders and is well positioned to give the state – especially Sussex County – the economic booster shot both desperately need.
“Is Del Pointe good for Delaware?
The answer is unarguably yes,” Schell said after HB 194 held saddle.
He said the recent entry in the race for a casino license, the Delmar International Raceway & Casino, is a project deserving of consideration, “but they’re not ready now.”