A Shawnee County judge has ruled against Penn National gaming in the breach of contract lawsuit between the company and Cherokee County.
The county had sued for $53 million after the company pulled out of a contract in 2008 with Cherokee County to build and operate a state-owned casino in the county more or less across the street from Downstream Casino.
Penn National withdrew, saying competition from Downstream Oklahoma made the proposed Cherokee County casino unprofitable.
Both sides had filed motions for summary judgement, which ask the judge to find the opposing side’s claims have no basis in fact.
By issuing the summary judgement in favor of the county, Judge Franklin Theis ruled that PNG was in breach of their contract with the county, but said in his ruling he would not automatically accept the county’s claims of lost revenue and will set the matter for trial.
Cherokee County Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand said he’s happy with the outcome.
“We’re pleased that that is done and we can move forward,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing what the monetary (award) is and using that money (for) Cherokee County.”
Hilderbrand said PNG’s attorneys have not contact the county’s attorneys about a settlement and the judge has not yet set the matter of the damages for trial.
Theis had previously warned Penn National to make another settlement offer before he ruled.
Penn National made no offer.