A little over a week ago Penn National Gaming pitched a proposal for a Category 4 satellite casino during a public hearing that was hosted by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in Caernarvon Township. During that particular hearing, a significantly large of residents opposed the establishment of the mini-casino citing concerns that such an initiative would result in increased crime and traffic. They were also of the opinion that it would go against the religious and moral framework of surrounding communities. Despite all that, the Caernarvon Township Board of Supervisors were swayed by the prospects an economic boost and they unanimously voted in favor of the Penn National mini casino.
Dubbed the Hollywood Casino Morgantown, the Category 4 satellite casino will be located at the intersection of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 176. According to Penn National’s pitch, the gambling facility will host up 750 slot machines and 30 table games as well as several restaurants and entertainment spaces.
As mentioned earlier, the economic and financial gain that the state expects from the casino was too great to dismiss. To begin with, the construction phase of the casino is expected to create as many as 255 jobs with an addition 250 permanent jobs set to become available once it goes live some after about 18 months of development. As far as revenue figures are concerned, the mini casino is reportedly set to inject about $94.3 million into the local economy with the township receiving at least $1.6 million in taxes every year.
Now that the hardest part of the process is over, Penn National only needs signoffs from Berks County Conservation District and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Truck Stop Gambling Also on the Way
Even though much of the attention in as far as gambling expansion in the Keystone State is concerned has been focused on online gambling and sports betting, the state’s gaming control board has been steadily advancing truck stop gambling as well. As it stands, the gaming control board has awarded conditional licenses to a total of 43 truck stops – all these facilities will be required to meet some very specific requirements before they are eventually allowed to offer gambling services to truckers and other travelers. These requirements include the installation of surveillance equipment, designating employees to monitor the gaming areas and renovating the facilities appropriately.
However, just like in the case of the Category 4 mini-casinos, there are certain counties that have been opposed to the establishment of truck stop gambling services in their territories. Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Washington counties will also not host truck stop gambling facilities since they already have full-sized casinos.