YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Penn National has been approved for a mini-casino license in York County. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board made the decision Wednesday morning after one final public hearing.
“We think York is a very good gaming market,” said Chris Rogers, of Penn National.
The project at the former Sears in the Galleria Mall will be called Hollywood Casino York. Developers hope to open the doors by the end of 2020.
“We will be opening with 500 slot machines,” said Dan Ihm, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino Penn National Race Course. “We will have the capacity to go to 750.”
Planners say there will also be 24 table games, plus a sports and race book.
This hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Springettsbury Township residents continue to express several concerns, including traffic, which is something the board says it considered.
“We heard traffic studies from both the applicant and our own traffic consultant today and it appears that all the mitigation issues have been solved, so we with traffic flow should be good for this,” gaming board spokesman Douglas Harbach said.
Planners say the mini-casino could potentially bring in $1 million in annual tax revenue. The board said between that and employment opportunities, it’s worth the gamble.
“This alone will hire about 200 people full-time,” Harbach said.
Supporters point out another mini-casino is currently being built at a mall in Westmoreland County.
“I think these will be good anchors for these locations that candidly have lost a lot of retail business,” Harbach said.
Penn National has already paid $50 million for the mini-casino. The total price tag for the project is $120 million.