Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, parent company of Parx Casino, finally found a site for its mini-casino.
As reported by PennLive, Greenwood filed paperwork with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to build a new mini-casino in Cumberland County . The company submitted plans Tuesday, just beating the Oct. 23 deadline set by the PGCB.
The proposed site is in Shippensburg Township. The town is located in the southern part of central Pennsylvania, roughly an hour from the Maryland state line.
Parx aims for a 2020 opening.
More about the new location
Following Pennsylvania’s expanded online gambling legislation of 2017, only a few municipalities in the state seemed interested in hosting casino development. Shippensburg was one of them.
The project still needs approval from the PGCB. That came after a public input hearing with township residents.
“The applicant has some control of the site,” PGCB spokesman Doug Harbach told PennLive. “But it must also obtain all required permits locally to satisfy the board and gain the award.”
Harbach noted that the PGCB will examine if Parx will “maintain a financially successful, viable and efficient business operation in that location, and is likely able to maintain a steady level of revenue growth.”
“Certainly, there could special conditions attached to the license as well,” Harbach added.
Even with approval still looming, Shippensburg leaders, as well as Parx, are confident the township will become the official site of the mini-casino.
Said township board of supervisors chairman Steve Oldt:
“We’ve been waiting for it to happen, and we’re looking forward to working with them and trying to make it as pleasant and painless as we can.”
Outlook of the Shippensburg property
Marc Oppenheimer, chief marketing officer for Greenwood, shared the company’s initial plans for its mini-casino. Some 475 slot machines and 40 table games will fill the space, which will be within 25 miles of 300,000 residents.
Visible off Interstate 81, the mini-casino will sit on 10 acres along the border between Cumberland and Franklin counties.
Oppenheimer expects the mini-casino to generate $45 million in annual gross gaming revenue. The result is roughly $950,000 paid to the host municipality and about 200 jobs, including 100 full-time positions.
Overall, Oppenheimer estimated “other purchases of services and supplies” would have an annual economic impact of $43 million.
Sports betting in store?
In early October, Greenwood received conditional approval from the PGCB to launch a Parx sportsbook. As a result, this mini-casino could operate under the umbrella of the casino’s PA sports betting license. At least, Harbach and the PGCB hinted as much.
To compare and contrast, Parx also received additional approval to operate a sportsbook at South Philadelphia Turf Club under its $10 million license. While the property was vetted separately, its approval comes at no additional cost. Should the satellite property want to offer sports betting eventually, it would likely need to go through a similar process.
Oppenheimer noted that the Shippensburg mini-casino plans to feature a sports bar with the possibility of implementing a sports betting operation. Given its proximity to Maryland and Baltimore, it certainly could bring in some out-of-state customers.
Parx satellite process quite tumultuous
Settling in Shippensburg, assuming it receives approval, ends a rocky selection process for Greenwood.
After winning the mini-casino license in February by default, Parx began searching for a location within range of its selected coordinates in South Newton.
Parx attempted to settle in Carlisle, despite the borough’s council voted months earlier to opt out. When Carlisle plans fell through, Parx applied for an extension to file plans. PGCB approved, giving the property an Oct. 23 deadline.
Despite the lengthy and arduous process, Greenwood officials claim they are happy with the end result. Oppenheimer assured as much:
“We are happy about the site. We’re looking forward to building there and running a great business there.”