Pennsylvania’s second mini-casino will open to the public at a mall in York County at noon on Aug. 12, Penn National Gaming announced Monday morning.
Hollywood Casino York will have 500 slot machines and 24 table games plus a race and sportsbook in former Sears space at the York Galleria Mall in Springettsbury Township. It will be the state’s 15th casino.
The facility, known officially as a Category 4 casino, is a satellite of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, located 40 miles to the north in Grantville. The mini-casino is on busy Route 30 near Interstate 83, shortening the driving distance to a gambling option for many south-central Pennsylvania residents.
Aside from the casino gaming and sports betting at the Barstool-branded sportsbook as part of an OTB horse racing operation, the property will have a casual restaurant called Diner & Drinks and a Classic Grill grab-and-go eatery.
“The countdown to our grand opening begins today,” Hollywood Casino York General Manager Ruben Warren said in a press release. “We’re very excited to soon welcome patrons to this beautiful new property, where they’ll be able to experience premier gaming, dining, and entertainment.”
The public opening will be preceded by two invitation-only test days from which proceeds will be funneled to local charitable organizations, among them the York County Food Bank, York County Veterans Outreach, and Mr. Sandy’s Veterans Helping Hand.
Three more mini-casinos in the pipeline
Pennsylvania is slated to have five mini-casinos — about one-third to one-half the size of most of the state’s casinos — allowed under a 2017 gambling expansion law. Through a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board auction process, Penn National bid $50.1 million for the rights to develop a site in the York County area.
That was at the first auction, in January 2018, and it was ultimately the highest amount bid for any mini-casino. Penn National also became winning bidder on a second mini-casino, known now as Hollywood Casino Morgantown, which is to open by year’s end in Berks County.
The mini-casinos are permitted up to 750 slots and 30 table games at the outset, and the first opened in November as Live! Pittsburgh at Westmoreland Mall, also along Route 30, about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh. Future Category 4 casinos are to open in Cumberland County, as a satellite of Parx Casino, and near State College, in a collaboration between private businessman Ira Lubert and Bally’s Corp.
Penn National has said 200 people would be employed at Hollywood Casino York, the newest venue for a company that bills itself as the largest regional gaming supplier in the U.S., with 42 properties in 20 states.