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Published: Thursday, 3/13/2003

Plans for Ohio casino move ahead at Botkins

BOTKINS, Ohio — Plans for a Native American-owned casino have taken a step forward with Village Council's approval of the purchase of 82 acres for the multimillion-dollar project.

Council voted Tuesday to ex|ercise an option to buy the tract for about $740,000. The develo|per has said the casino and bin|go hall would anchor an entertainment site to include restaurants, a hotel, and a golf course.

Tom Schnippel, owner of a construction company in Botkins, is representing a tribe that he has refused to identify. Mr. Schnippel has talked of a 10-year, seven-phase, resort-type facility costing $550 million and encompassing 300 acres. Botkins, with about 1,300 residents, is about 90 miles south of Toledo.

State and federal officials have said the likelihood of a casino being built in Ohio is slight because it would take approval from Gov. Bob Taft, who has opposed gambling.

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