As part of a legislative packet to expand real money casino gambling a few years back, plans called for “mini casinos”. Since the law went into effect, two locations have been approved. A third smaller casino facility was recent approved for a south central portion of the state.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved plans for the third license in the state. This was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper. It will also be the second “mini-casino” located in a former department store. Many of the state’s smaller regional malls have lost major tenants in recent years. As a result, the malls have suffered due to this ongoing exodus of conventional retailers.
When Will Pennsylvania Add Its Third “Mini Casino” Location To York?
The Board unanimously approved the third land-based operation. The company is a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming. This entity will construct the satellite casino in the York Galleria Mall. The casino itself will be affiliated with the company’s Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
The mini casino will occupy 80,000 square feet of space that was once a Sears department store. That store went out of business last year. Construction is already underway. The entire project is expected to take up to 13 months to complete. Penn National revealed its plans to the gaming board prior to approval. The official name will be Hollywood Casino York.
Over 1,200 Slot Machines, 24 Table Games, A Sportsbook And Off-Track Horse Betting
The gaming plans call for 500 slot machines. There will also be 24 gaming tables for Blackjack and Roulette. as the two most popular options. The mini casino will also house a sportsbook as well as off-track horse betting. There will be dining and beverage service as well.
Initially, there will be more than 260 construction jobs created to complete the project. Once the casino is up and running, the facility should employ close to 200 full-time workers. Expected gaming revenues should produce around $1 million in tax revenue and fees. The principal beneficiary will be Springettsbury Township as the host community. York is located in the south central part of PA.
Satellite casinos were previously referred to as Category 4 casinos. This was one of the unique features of that gambling expansion bill in 2017. The change in law allowed existing PA casinos to bid on smaller locations. The max was set at 750 slot machines and 30 table games.
There were five bids for these new mini casinos. This generated $127 million in licensing and fees. The winning bids ranged from $7.5 million all the way to $50.1 million. One project north of Pittsburgh never got off the ground. It could not come up with the necessary funding so the $21.1 million in licensing and fees were refunded.
The two other mini casinos receiving approval in the state are:
- Hollywood Casino Morgantown in Berks County
- Stadium Casino LLC in Philadelphia
Another additional location for a mini casino is in Greensburg at Westmoreland Mall. Parx Casino has plans to build a satellite casino in Shippensburg. However, there are some structural issues with the current location.