Penn National Goes Hollywood with Second Satellite Submission to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Posted on: October 31, 2018, 12:31h. 

Last updated on: November 1, 2018, 08:04h.

Penn National Gaming’s search to find a home for its second satellite casino in Pennsylvania is over.

A rendering of Penn National Gaming’s proposed Hollywood Casino Morgantown was submitted to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Wednesday. (Photo: PNG)

The company submitted an application with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to build Hollywood Casino Morgantown near Reading, the state’s fifth most-populated metropolis.

The application calls for PNG to build in Caernarvon Township in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, just 15 miles from Reading, a city of about 90,000 people. The casino will also be less than 50 miles from Philadelphia, the sixth most-populated city in the US with 1.58 million residents.

CEO of PNG Timothy Wilmott said the company looked at several locations, but the township’s location at the convergence of three major highways was too good to pass on.

Hollywood Casino Morgantown is ideally situated to generate new revenues from the more densely populated suburbs to the west of Philadelphia,” Wilmott was quoted as saying in a company-generated press release.

Caernarvon Township’s cut from hosting the casino will come in the form of a two percent gross tax revenue from slot machines and one percent from tables games. The company estimated that the casino will create up to 250 permanent jobs for the area.

Malls and More

A 2017 law passed in Pennsylvania made ten Category 4 satellite casino licenses available, and PNG secured two of them for a combined $60 million. They’ve now found homes for both.

In September, the company presented plans to build a casino inside the York Galleria Mall in York, PA with the first Category 4 satellite license it had acquired in January. The bid for that license cost PNG $50 million.

In April, PNG won the rights to build a second satellite venue with a $10.5 million bid for the license and immediately eyed Reading as a potential location.

Hollywood Casino Morgantown will be built on 36 acres in Berks County, will take roughly 18 months to complete, and will cost around $111 million, a PNG press release stated.

The project will be 80,000 square feet and will hit the state’s max allowed by law for slot machines at 750. The 30 table games will leave a bit of room for growth, as regulations give casino operators up to 40. It will also feature a sportsbook, as well as entertainment and restaurant venues.

Satellites Abound

In recent months, other gaming operators have submitted plans for their own mini-casinos in Pennsylvania.

Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment sent their plans to the PGCB last week to build a satellite in Shippensburg, using the license the company won with an $8.1 million bid in February.

Greenwood is the parent company of Parx Casino, and the proposed project would be located just a few miles from Shippensburg University. Also this month, Mount Airy Casino announced its plans to build Mount Airy Pittsburgh (actually about 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh) with a license won with a $21 million bid in February.

Both casinos will feature the maximum allowed 750 slot machines, as well as 30 table games.