Penn National Gaming to open Hollywood Casino Morgantown on 22 December

US regional casino operator Penn National Gaming (PNG) is set to open its new Hollywood Casino Morgantown in Pennsylvania on 22 December, pending final regulatory approvals.

The new casino project was approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in June 2019, following a license auction. 

Since then, PNG has invested approximately $111m in the project which is estimated to create around 375 jobs.

Penn’s new casino

The Category 4 casino will be Penn National Gaming’s fourth land-based casino in the Keystone State.

Penn currently operates Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse in Grantville, Hollywood Casino at the Meadows in Washington, and the new Hollywood Casino York, which opened in August this year.

As outlined in the announcement, the new approximately 80,000 square-foot casino facility will feature 750 of the latest slot machines and 30 table games, a climate-controlled outdoor gaming terrace, a Barstool Sportsbook, and three unique dining options 

Marc Guastella, Vice President and General Manager for Hollywood Casino Morgantown said: “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.”

Prior to the grand opening of the facility next month, Penn will host two invitation-only test days. Additionally, all gaming proceeds generated on these days will be donated to local charitable organizations the United Way of Berks County, Honey Brook Food Pantry, and the Jarett Yoder Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be supporting these incredible organizations in Berks, Chester and Lancaster Counties,” added Guastella. “Penn National is committed to being actively engaged in the community and partnering with worthwhile groups to assist those in need.”

What else has Penn been up to?

Prior to confirming the December launch date for its new casino facility, the casino operator announced the launch of a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) scholarship program.

Announced on 17 November, the PNG will work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in states where it operates on the new scholarship program.

The project will see Penn National allocate more than $4m over a five-year period to fund STEM scholarships and internship opportunities at the business.

Initially, the program will work with schools including Norfolk State University in Virginia, Bowie State University in Maryland, and Wilberforce University in Ohio. This program will also extend PNG’s partnerships with 33 HBCUs across the US.

PNG chief executive said: “Last year, we formed the Penn Diversity Committee to help put our Company’s longstanding support of diversity and inclusion into action. 

“Their guidance led to the Company launching a $1 million annual Diversity Scholarship Program for children of Penn National team members in furtherance of the Company’s commitment to equity in post-secondary education opportunities. This year 58 scholarships were awarded to eligible candidates, 57% of whom are first-generation students.

“The hard work of our Diversity Committee continues to help identify opportunities for new initiatives, including today’s announced commitment towards STEM scholarships and internships for students at HBCUs. Increasing access to STEM opportunities for HBCU students is another important step to promote social and economic equity, as well as diversity, inclusion, and belonging.”