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central Pennsylvania could soon become more populated by mi

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-04-05

HARRISBURG >> Berks County-based Penn National Gaming was the sole and winning bidder on Wednesday for a fifth new mini-casino license authorized by cash-poor Pennsylvania, potentially plunking down a new gambling spot close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the city of Reading.

Penn National hopes to protect its flagship Hollywood Casino, about 25 miles to the west in Harrisburg’s suburbs, plus draw patrons from Philadelphia’s heavily populated suburbs and the Reading and Lancaster areas, Schippers said.

With 18 licenses and 12 casinos operating, Pennsylvania is the nation’s No. 2 state for commercial casino gross revenue, second to Nevada. At $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year, it already rakes in more tax revenue from casino gambling than any other state.

Penn National’s gross revenue is in the top five among U.S.-based casino operators and, fresh off its acquisition of rival Pinnacle Entertainment, it has 41 operating properties in North America.

In addition to slots, Penn National Gaming can pay an additional fee to include 30 table games at its planned mini-casino in Berks County. Associated Press File Photo

The four license auctions raised $120 million, including Penn National’s opening $50 million bid.

A state law passed last year authorizes the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to auction the rights to 10 new mini-casinos in an effort to scrounge money for a deficit-strapped state bank account.

A Reading-area mini-casino would fit into a gap between central Pennsylvania, where Penn National’s Hollywood Casino draws from a broad area as the only operating casino, and heavily populated southeastern Pennsylvania, where five casinos already compete for business and another casino in Philadelphia is under construction.

But the general location Penn National identified in its bid seems to ensure that it will be built in southern Berks County, either along a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, in the city of Reading or its suburbs, where Penn National is headquartered.

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