The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board could vote on a plan for the development of a mini casino in Morgantown this week
The gaming regulator will hold a hearing at 10am local time on Wednesday in Harrisburg to be presented with more information about project. Penn National Gaming is the company seeking approval for the $111 million project.
The gaming group has submitted an application to develop a mini casino in Caernarvon Township, just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 176. The property will be named Hollywood Casino Morgantown and will feature 750 slot machines and 30 table games with the ability to accommodate additional 10 table games.
Penn National Gaming will make a presentation before the Gaming Control Board during the Wednesday hearing to provide the regulator with more details about its newest project. Doug Harbach, a spokesperson for the regulatory body, said in a statement that “if the board feels they are in a position to vote, it could happen or they could decide they are not prepared to vote.”
In other words, the gaming board might decide to wait for a little longer before announcing its final decision on whether Penn National Gaming should move forward with building the mini casino.
Penn National Gaming received early last year two licenses for Class 4 satellite casinos, or mini casinos, under the state’s revamped gambling regulations that were approved in the fall of 2017 and provided for the addition of up to ten satellite gaming facilities across the state.
The company submitted its application for Hollywood Casino Morgantown last fall. As per information provided by Penn National Gaming, the property will be located on a vacant 36-acre site in Caernarvon Township, Berks County.
Aside from its casino gaming options, it will also feature a sportsbook, a signature restaurant, a food court, and an entertainment lounge. The mini casino is expected to create more than 275 construction jobs and more than 250 permanent local jobs once fully operational. Penn National Gaming said that the construction phase would take approximately 18 months following the receipt of all the necessary permits, including a final approval from the Gaming Control Board.
Being the property’s host community, Caernarvon Township will receive 2% of its slot machine revenue and 1% of its table game revenue.
The Hollywood Casino Morgantown project has received mixed reactions. While many have hailed it as it would generate much-needed jobs and would contribute additional revenue, others have pointed out that a gambling venue does not fit the social environment of a region that is a gateway to Amish communities.
The Wednesday hearing hosted by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will not seek public input about the casino plan. The regulator hosted such an event back in March at the Caernarvon Township Building. It was attended by more than 250 residents of the area.
It was in March again when township officials approved unanimously the proposed satellite casino as it could revitalize the area, which has seen a stagnant growth for a number of years now.
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