Satellite Casino Approved; Penn National To Operate It

The year of 2017 was pretty important for the gambling landscape in Pennsylvania, as lawmakers decided it was time they expanded the offer of land-based casinos in the state. That’s why they made the Expanded Gaming Act.

All seemed well at that point, as allowing up to 10 mini-casinos all over the state seemed like a great idea. However, there were a couple of bumps on the road as the state had a lot of problems actually finding bidders for the licenses they offered.

The only company that managed to create a satellite casino is Penn National, and now it is ready to start a new satellite.

The first casino that Penn National was approved for was Hollywood Casino Morgantown, which was in March 2019. Now, it has been given the green light to start with Hollywood Casino York, which would basically be a mini-satellite.

It would open its doors instead of York Galleria Mall. The project of building and starting one such facility costs approximately $120 million, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved it, giving it a Category 4 license. The casino will have a total of 30 table games, in addition to 750 slot machines.

The PGCB did not need much time to give the green light to Penn National. After all, the operator is more than present in the state of Pennsylvania and is pretty much familiar with how things work there.

Moreover, no other operator showed up at the September auction for licenses, so the PGCB did not have a difficult task of actually selecting the best possible candidate. The only other candidate except for Penn National that showed interest in actually starting a casino in Pennsylvania was Mount Airy.

However, its proposal was rejected, as the operator supposedly did not have enough funds to complete the project.

Excited To Open

The Chief Executive Officer for Penn National, Timothy Wilmott, stated that they were “very pleased with the unanimous approval by the PGCB.” Moreover, he added that the company looked forward to opening the Hollywood Casino York doors “as soon as possible.”

Wilmott did not hide his enthusiasm about the project, stating that the property will be located in an ideal position, meaning it will attract customers both from south and central Pennsylvania and Maryland. Moreover, he added that the existing market share of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will not be affected by the new satellite casino.

As soon as it opens its doors, there will be a total of 24 table games and 500 slots, and the rest will be added later. What will make this property stand out is the fact that there will be a sportsbook included in its offer, meaning visitors will be able to place bets on their favorite sports.

Finally, there will be other interesting facilities that guests can visit. Apart from an entertainment facility, there will be a restaurant and a coffee house.

The casino will bring jobs to locals, as approximately 200 full-time jobs are expected to be created. Moreover, construction will last for a year, creating a couple of additional temporary open positions.

There were a couple of concerns about underage individuals entering the casino due to its proximity to the mall. However, John Finamore, Senior VP of Penn National, stated that there would be no entrances to the casino from the mall.

In fact, he added that there would be only one entry point to the property, via its porte-cochere entrance. One thing is certain — the residents of Pennsylvania will now have more entertainment options in their vicinity.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.