On Wednesday, December 19, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved the establishment of Penn National Gaming’s $120 million Category 4 mini-casino. The approval came after Penn National delivered a presentation that outlined some of the perks that will come with the satellite casino. This mini-casino will be located at the York Galleria Mall in Springettsbury Township, York County and will be known as Hollywood Casino York.
The Penn National Gaming mini-casino is the Keystone State’s third Category 4 satellite casino licensee. It also happens to be the second casino project that hopes to bring back life to a former anchor department-store location mall that is no longer occupied by other retailers. The other one is Live! Casino in Westmoreland County. Aside from the usual perks of the gaming establishment, the mini-casino is expected to not only provide over 200 full-time jobs but also stimulate other commercial activities at the mall.
What to Expect
Already construction has begun on the mini-casino and this will come to an end soon within a few months. The anticipated launch date of the mini-casino will come in a year or so – the Penn National officials are yet to give any official information on the exact timelines. For now, we just have to settle for a launch date in either late 2020 or early 2021. The satellite casino will be creating at least 260 jobs during its construction phase.
Hollywood Casino York has leased an 80,000-square-foot space that was previously occupied by a Sears department store. This single-floor space will feature a total of 500 slot machines, 24 table games, a sportsbook, an off-track betting parlor, and dining facilities. Even with all that, the facility will still be able to accommodate up to 250 more slot machines and 16 more table games. As mentioned earlier, manning the facility will be 200 full-time employees and they will be assisting the property to raise about $1 million in annual tax revenue for the township. It will also be a big boost to the state’s overall revenue.
“Hollywood Casino York will become an economic engine in Springettsbury Township and the greater community. We have already met with local workforce development organizations to begin the process of identifying our future team members and creating approximately 200 new permanent jobs in York County,” Timothy J. Wilmott, the Penn National Gaming CEO, said.
The gaming operator certainly expects the casino to perform very well but it has made sure that the facility is located strategically. This will help in attracting customers from both northern Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania while at the same time keeping the operator’s market share at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course intact.
Response to Concerns
During the hearing where the PGCB approved the mini-casino, Penn National Gaming also addressed some concerns. These mostly revolved around traffic and underage gambling. To prevent people below the age of 21 from access the casino, Penn National’s mini-casino will not have an entrance from the mall. On the issue of traffic, the officials said that they conducted a study and it shows that there will be little disruption. Even so, they have plans to add an extra traffic light the southeast entrance of the mall along Whiteford Road