Ready for Its Summer Star Turn: Hollywood Casino York Announces Opening Date and More Details

Written By Kevin Shelly on July 12, 2021

Hollywood Casino York has a premiere date. Penn National Gaming plans to open Hollywood Casino York at noon on Aug. 12. The official announcement came Monday morning from the company’s Pennsylvania-based corporate headquarters.

Two invitation-only test days are planned on Aug. 10 and 11. Gaming proceeds are earmarked for York-area charitable organizations, including York County Veterans Outreach, York County Food Bank, and local VFWs and American Legion posts.

If the testing goes as planned, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) should grant public opening approval for  Aug. 12.

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Hollywood Casino York information

Hollywood Casino York is technically a Category 4 casino, usually called a mini-casino or satellite casino. The suburban York location becomes the second mini-casino in PA and second in a rehabbed mall space.

  • Galleria Mall in Springettsbury Township at 2899 Whiteford Road.
  • 80,000 sq. ft
  • 500 slot machines
  • 24 table games
  • No poker room
  • 10 electronic table games
  • Barstool Sportsbook and race book
  • Two restaurants. Diner & Drinks, a casual restaurant and bar. Classic Grill, a grab-and-go spot.
  • At least 700 parking spaces

While Hollywood Casino York will open with 500 slot machines and 24 table games, they have capacity for up to 750 slot machines and 40 table games.

Hollywood Casino York and Barstool Sportsbook will feature mychoice rewards, which connect 35 locations nationally. Members can earn benefits such as:

  • Free slot play
  • Discounts for dining and accommodations
  • Comps
  • Bonus entries into promotions
  • Exclusive invitations to events
  • Upper-tier rewards include cruises, tropical vacations, and even a one-year Mercedes-Benz lease.

Ruben Warren, vice president and general manager for Hollywood Casino York, said in the corporate announcement of the opening:

“The countdown to our grand opening begins today. 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.

“We are thrilled to be supporting the work of these incredible organizations in York County. Penn National is committed to being actively engaged in the community and partnering with worthwhile groups to assist those in need.”

Hollywood Casino York home to first Barstool Sportsbook on East Coast

“Stoolies” should also mark down the debut date. It will be the first opening of a brick-and-mortar Barstool Sportsbook on the East Coast.

Penn acquired a 36% stake in Barstool in Jan. 2020. Barstool online sportsbook launched in Pennsylvania in Sept. 2020. Barstool’s online casino arrived in late April 2021.

Hollywood Casino York is already eyeing more space

Penn National Gaming is already looking to expand even before taking the first wager at Hollywood Casino York by leasing additional vacant mall space above the portion they are already rehabbing on the ground floor.

listing brochure for the available second-level space describes the vacant mall space:

Upper Level Former Sears: 70,000 +/- SF prominent anchor space available for lease. Space is directly above proposed Hollywood Casino with frontage on the upper level facing south to US-30 and Whiteford Road, as well as signage opportunities on the upper level West side facing Target, Kohl’s, and Michaels. The space can be divided and include new exterior storefronts with updated facades. Hollywood Casino will have an upper level exterior entrance with vertical transportation down to the main lobby from the Western corner of this space. Ample parking exists with over 700 parking spaces directly in front of this box.

No additional gaming commission approval is required if the build-out does not add gaming space. Given their sunk cost for their winning but whopping mini license bid – $50.1 million in Jan. 2019 – maximizing their footprint makes sense. The bid represented the single-largest amount paid for a mini-casino location. York’s table games approval cost an additional $2.5 million.

Hollywood Casino York hiring

Hollywood Casino York has a career center in the mall, near the casino. They, and all casinos in PA, are actively hiring.

Open positions include casino operations, food and beverage, security and surveillance, human resources, and marketing.

The headcount goal is opening with 320 total employees, with 105 of those table dealers. Twenty current dealers from Penn National’s mothership casino in Grantville are transferring to York.

Because of the need to step up hiring, the company has offered $1,500 signing bonuses.

Penn National Gaming casinos in PA

The rehabbed gambling space in a struggling regional mall in Springettsbury Township will join Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course 43-miles away in Grantville and The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington, 30 miles from Pittsburgh. A fourth Penn property, Hollywood Casino Morgantown, a ground-up mini-casino along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, should open before the end of the year.

That will bring the number of physical casinos to 16 by the close of 2021. Penn National Gaming, Hollywood Casino York’s parent company, is the only PA-based casino company. They will have the most casino locations in Pennsylvania.

Virus disruptions altered timelines for mini-casino

Work on both Hollywood Casino York and the mini-casino in Morgantown was halted on March 17, 2020, due to the spread of COVID-19. The shutdown also caused Penn’s stock to plummet last spring to below $4 a share.

Work resumed last November, and $PENN shares took off, topping out at more than $140 a share in February. But the stock has since been on a long slide, trading around $73.50 in recent days. The company has its Q2 earnings call on Aug. 5, a week before the planned opening of Hollywood Casino York.

History of Penn National Gaming

For more on the history of Penn National, see our three-part series on the rise of the Wyomissing, PA-based gambling company.

Lead photo from Hollywood Casino York Facebook. 

Kevin Shelly Avatar
Written by
Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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