Pennsylvania’s second mini-casino is set to open Thursday in York County. Leave your cash at home.
The Hollywood Casino York is set to open formally at noon on Thursday after successfully undergoing testing last week, Kevin F. O’Toole, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board executive director, told the board on Wednesday.
The casino, owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pa., will allow customers who download an app to a smartphone to use a digital wallet to conduct cashless transactions at slot machines and table games. While cashless technology has been rolled out at several other casinos, O’Toole said, the new casino will permit gamblers to conduct “fully cashless procedures” such as buy-ins and chip redemptions at gaming tables. That means patrons can avoid carrying chips between tables and can skip trips to the cashier’s window.
Hollywood Casino York, built in a vacant Sears store in the York Galleria Mall in Springettsbury Township, is the second so-called mini-casino to be opened under Pennsylvania’s expanded gaming law. The measure, passed in 2017, allowed licensed operators to open smaller satellite casinos with as many as 750 slot machines and 30 table games in towns that did not opt-out from new casino operations. A full-scale casino typically has several thousand slot machines.
The state’s first mini-casino, the Live! Casino Pittsburgh, operated by Cordish Gaming, is in a former department store building in the Westmoreland Mall, about 22 miles east of Pittsburgh. The mini-casino is associated with the flagship Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia, located on Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia, which opened earlier this year.
Penn National Gaming plans to open a second mini-casino, the Hollywood Casino Morgantown, later this year off I-76 in Berks County. Penn National also operates the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville and the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington, Pa.
Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which operates Parx Casino in Bensalem, is awaiting license approval for its mini-casino project, the Parx Casino Shippensburg in Cumberland County. The gaming board conducted a hearing on the project in May.
The gaming board has scheduled a public hearing Monday to hear testimony about the fifth mini-casino project, to be located near State College. Philadelphia investor Ira Lubert, whose company is called SC Gaming Op Co. LLC, plans to operate a casino in a former Macy’s Store in the Nittany Mall in College Township, about three miles northeast of State College borough, which opted out as a casino location.
The hearing will begin at 4 p.m. Monday at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in College Township.
The fees from the mini-casino license auctions generated more than $121 million in revenue for the state, one of the main reasons the General Assembly approved an expansion of gaming in 2017. That law legalized sports wagering, online betting, video slot machines in truck stops, fantasy sports, and mini-casinos, which are technically called Category 4 casinos.