Penn National Gaming have been given the green light to launch a satellite casino in the Pennsylvania town of Morgantown. The Hollywood Casino Morgantown will be the state’s first satellite casino and is expected to produce as much as $94.3 million for the local economy, but the approval has not been received enthusiastically by locals.
The Caernarvon Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the satellite casino in a vote held during a meeting this week. That meeting was attended by a number of local residents, many of whom tried to speak out against the planned casino. Despite their objections, the board was enticed by what the venue is expected to bring. Penn National estimates that the construction of the casino will bring 255 temporary jobs and, after opening, the gambling house will provide 250 permanent positions. As a result, Caernarvon is expected to take in as much as $1.6 million in taxes each year.
About a year and a half ago, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved a gaming expansion bill that would allow additional gaming facilities to be built in the state. Initially, Penn National fought the measure, even suing to try and have the bill overturned. It later decided that it was fighting a losing battle and chose to embrace expansion instead.
The casino operator bid to launch a satellite casino and won after placing an offer worth just over $50 million. It chose York County for its venue and later selected Morgantown for a second satellite. Morgantown is a good choice logistically, as it is only 20 minutes away from the fifth most populated city in the state, Reading, 40 minutes from Lancaster and 30 minutes from Philly Main Line, a heavily populated and upper-class area.
Pennsylvania could soon see a number of new gambling facilities. In addition to Penn National’s two operations, the owner of Parx Casino, Greenwood Gaming, is looking to launch a satellite casino Shippensburg. Mount Airy Casino is working on a satellite that is located about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh and Stadium Casino LLC, a division of The Cordish Companies, has plans to build a facility at the Westmoreland Mall, about 45 minutes away from Steel City.