Berks mini casino receives state approval

Berks County is one step closer to getting its own mini casino — Hollywood Casino Morgantown.

Rendering of the proposed the Hollywood Casino Morgantown (Contributed)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Commission has approved the award of a Category 4 casino license to Penn National Gaming of Wyomissing, through its Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association.

In January of 2018 Penn National became the first casino operator to win a license bid.

Wednesday’s approval finalizes the award and was given after a review of the company during a hearing in Harrisburg.

Penn National plans to build the mini-casino just off the Morgantown exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Category 4 Slot Machine License permits Penn National to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines.

The operator is also able to petition for permission to operate up to 30 table games for an additional fee of $2.5 million with the capability of adding an additional 10 tables games after its first year of operation.

According to Penn National’s presentation to the board it intends to build an 89,500-square-foot casino with a target opening date of late 2020.

It will have 750 slot machines and 30 table games with a planned expansion to 40.

There will also be sports betting and food and entertainment at the venue.

Penn National said it would have the equivalent of 250 full-time jobs.

The smaller casinos were authorized under a state expansion of casino-style gambling in October of 2017.

Writer Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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