The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has granted Penn National Gaming (PNG) licensing approval for a new satellite casino in the state
The operator will soon begin construction on the Category 4 venue, Hollywood Casino Morgantown, which is to be built on a 36-acre site in Caernarvon Township, Berks County, in the south east of the state.
“We are very pleased with today’s unanimous approval and appreciate the diligence of the PGCB and their staff,” PNG chief executive Timothy Wilmott said.
“We look forward to beginning the development of Hollywood Casino Morgantown promptly following receipt of all requisite approvals. The property will be ideally located to draw customers from the heavily populated suburbs to the west of Philadelphia, while also protecting our existing market share at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.”
Category 4 licenses were created as part of the gambling expansion bill signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in October 2017, which also paved the way for the roll-out of sports betting and igaming.
Per the legislation, 10 Category 4 licences were made available, with each put up for auction. The first auction, held on January 10, 2018, was won by PNG, which paid $50.1m to secure a permit for a facility in York County.
PNG then paid $7.5m for its second Category 4 license in April that year, for the Hollywood Casino Morgantown project. The finalized plans for the venues must be approved by the PGCB before construction can begin.
Category 4 licensees are permitted to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines, and up to 40 table games.
PNG’s overall investment in the project is in the region of $111m, including license fees for the property’s slot machines and table games. The 80,000 square foot venue will feature 750 slot machines and 30 table games, as well as a race and sportsbook, restaurant, entertainment facility and food hall.
“Hollywood Casino Morgantown will become an economic engine in Caernarvon Township and in Berks County, which has been our home for over 45 years,” Wilmott said.
“We have already met with local workforce development organizations to begin the process of identifying our future team members, and look forward to creating roughly 250 new permanent jobs and 275 constructions jobs right here in our backyard.”