Parx Casino’s parent company, Greenwood Gaming Entertainment has filed an application with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for a license to build a mini casino venue in Shippensburg. This puts the satellite casino’s potential opening at around or after mid-2020, that is, if the casino operator’s application is approved by the state regulator.
The proposed site lies on 10 acre-plot of land off Interstate 81 at the King Street exit, close to a mile from the downtown Shippensburg area and the renowned Shippensburg University. The township that will be hosting the satellite casino is one of the few municipalities in South Central Pennsylvania that were quite welcoming to the idea of casino development within their localities after the state approved a massive statewide gambling expansion bill in October 2017. As such, the municipality’s elected officials do not have the power to directly veto a casino project unless the said project fails to meet all of the required local zoning and land development criteria.
A Public Hearing Could Happen Soon
Even though the state’s gambling expansion plans have been rather fair to the interested casino operators, Greenwood Gaming Entertainment will still have to measure up with other requirements that have been laid out by the Commonwealth’s gaming control board. Among other special conditions that may be imposed along the way, the regulator’s requirements will include a public hearing where the township’s residents will have the opportunity to express their support and concerns with regards to the mini casino project.
“The applicant has some control of the site, but it must also obtain all required permits locally to satisfy the board and gain the award,” Doug Harbach, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman said. “The board will also look at the same issues as with any casino licensing including… whether the applicant is likely to maintain a financially successful, viable and efficient business operation in that location, and is likely able to maintain a steady level of revenue growth.”
As much as it may seem that it will be a long way before everything is sorted out and construction begins, the application ends the extensive site selection process that involved a number of unsuccessful campaigns earlier this year.
Smooth Sailing with Shippensburg Officials
The township’s officials have been very supportive of Parx Casino’s satellite casino project, something that has made the progress of the project anything but pleasant.
“We’re kind of excited,” Shippensburg Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Oldt commented. “We’ve been waiting for it to happen, and we’re looking forward to working with them and trying to make it as pleasant and painless as we can.”
This enthusiasm has been a huge propellant of the process and it is expected to result in a meaningful exchange of ideas during the yet to be announced public hearing that will be hosted by the gaming control board and attended by public officials, the casino operator’s officials and, most importantly, the town’s residents.