It’s day one at Hollywood Casino York: “We don’t have to travel anymore to do this!”


YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Like a lot of things during the pandemic, it took longer than planned. And not everybody supported the concept. But for those who did, Thursday brought an end to a long wait, as Hollywood Casino York — officially a mini-casino — opened to the public.

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So many people were standing in such hot weather for so long, waiting for the casino’s planned opening at 12 noon, that managers decided to begin letting them in by about 11:15 a.m. The casino’s vice-president and general manager, Ruben Warren — who moved from Las Vegas four months ago to open the location at York Galleria, where Sears used to be — estimated about 1,000 people had entered within the first hour.

“We don’t have to travel anymore to do this,” Norma Rivera said. “We can stay here in York!”

The “mini” in “mini-casino” is relative. The Springettsbury Township location has 510 slot machines, 24 table games, two virtual table games and two restaurants. It’s also the first Penn National location with a cashless option at every machine and table. But you can still use cash. This is, after all, a casino.

It’s also the first Pennsylvania casino with a Barstool-branded sportsbook.

An abandoned Sears might not sound like the most dreamy place for a new casino, but York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler said it’s actually perfect.

“Instead of going and building an entirely new location, they took some space here in our community that needed to be rehabbed,” Wheeler said, also noting the casino’s 300 new jobs.

Following a statewide reversion back to pre-pandemic rules, Hollywood Casino York has a smoking section. Robert White, a Dover Township resident who said he initially fought against the approval of a casino that allows smoking, said a smoking section he considers “small” was a satisfactory compromise.

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