PA Betting Scene Grows, License Granted for ‘Mini-Casino” in Shippensburg

PA Betting Scene Grows, License Granted for ‘Mini-Casino” in Shippensburg
By Lou Monaco

Another mini-casino is about to sprout on the Pennsylvania gambling landscape.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted unanimously during Wednesday’s monthly board meeting to award a license to GW Cumberland Op. Co. (Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc., operator of Parx Casino) to construct a Category 4 casino in Shippensburg Township, Cumberland County, which is 43 miles from Harrisburg and 146 miles from Philadelphia.


This will be the 17th casino in the state and the first since the Category 4 Hollywood Casino Morgantown opened just before Christmas.

There are four categories for casino licenses within Pennsylvania. They consist of the state’s thoroughbred/harness racetracks (Category 1), standalone casinos (2), resort casinos (3) and satellite/mini-casinos (4).

Penn National Gaming’s new casino — Hollywood Casino York — opened in mid-August 2021. The 80,000-square-foot York facility features approximately 500 slot machines and 24 table games, with a capacity for up to 750 slot machines and 40 table games. It also has a Barstool Sportsbook and race book for sports betting. 

In addition to retail casinos, the Pennsylvania online casinos market is one of the strongest in the United States. Along with PA, online casinos are legal in New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, West Virginia and Connecticut.

The Shippensburg Category 4 slot machine license permits a 73,000-square foot, non-smoking facility to operate between 300-750 slot machines. They also could petition for permission to initially operate up to 30 table games for an additional fee of $2.5 million with the capability of adding 10 more table games after its first year of operation. The table games certificate was also approved by the Board Wednesday.


Casino Slated to Open in November

Parx Casino Shippensburg, which is targeting a late 2022 opening, will be located in a former Lowe’s Home Supply Store in Shippen Town Center and at opening will include 500 slot machines, electronic tables games, a restaurant and sports bar facility.

Looking to start construction in February, the new mini-casino is expected to create 175 construction jobs. When opened in November 2022, more than 125 full time equivalent permanent jobs should be added. The casino also plans to offer sports wagering in the future.

Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment secured the right to locate a casino with a winning bid of $8.1 million dollars at the fourth Category 4 auction held by the PGCB on Feb. 22, 2018.

Parx Casino and Racetrack is located in Bensalem, a suburb northeast of Philadelphia. Parx is located in Bucks County.

In late August, Greenwood Gaming announced a multi-year partnership agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is now an online casino partner of the six-time Super Bowl champions, who were eliminated from this year’s playoffs by the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.

The next PGCB monthly meeting will be held on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. ET.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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