Pennsylvania’s 16th casino, one of the five mini-casinos that will operate as a result of 2017 gaming expansion legislation, is to open in Berks County Dec. 22 as Hollywood Casino Morgantown.
Penn National Gaming announced in a press release Monday morning its intention to open at noon on the Wednesday three days before Christmas, subject to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board final approval.
The gaming operator has been working for more than a year on construction of the new facility in Berks County, located about 15 miles south of Penn National’s headquarters in Wyomissing on the outskirts of Reading.
The company says it has invested $111 million in the property, including the $7.5 million bid at a gaming board auction in April 2018 for the right to develop a venue in the approximate location.
Hollywood Casino Morgantown will be at the intersection of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and two other busy highways, about 50 to 60 miles east of both Hollywood Casino at Penn National and Hollywood Casino York. The latter opened in mid-August as the state’s second mini-casino, following the Pittsburgh! Live opening at Westmoreland Mall a year ago. Two more of the small venues are to open in late 2022 or afterward in Cumberland and Centre counties.
The property will be Penn National’s fourth casino in the state, as it also owns the recently renamed Hollywood Casino at The Meadows, in Washington County.
Sportsbook and restaurants join slots and tables
The press release said Hollywood Casino Morgantown will be an 80,000-square-foot property with 750 slot machines and 30 table games, which are the most a mini-casino — known officially as a Category 4 casino — can have at opening.
There will also be a Barstool Sportsbook, which includes a sports bar for bettors to watch games and eat and drink, along with two other restaurants: a Tony Luke’s cheesesteak/sandwich eatery and the Red Lotus Asian Kitchen.
Hiring is still taking place for the 375 permanent jobs at the casino, with those interested able to apply through a career center located at the Holiday Inn Morgantown.
Before official opening to the public, two invitation-only test days will be conducted, with gaming proceeds donated to United Way of Berks County and two other charitable agencies.
“The countdown to our grand opening begins today,” Marc Guastella, vice president and general manager for Hollywood Casino Morgantown, said in the announcement. “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.”
Photo courtesy of Penn National Gaming