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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Grants the Fourth Mini-Casino Operating License to the Shippensburg Parx Project

Almost 4 years after it paid over $8 million in return for the permission to open a mini-casino in the south-central part of the state of Pennsylvania, Parx Casino’s owner finally got its long-awaited permit to establish a satellite casino in Shippensburg.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) gave the green light to a casino operating license for a Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment’s subsidiary. The permit will allow the operator to establish the Parx facility in the township of Shippensburg. As previously revealed, the casino will be situated on 73,000 square feet and will be a smaller version of the Bensalem casino of Parx, which is currently the largest casino by revenue in Pennsylvania.

The COO of Greenwood, John Dixon, revealed that the renovation of the place, which is expected to cost a total of $65 million, is set to start in February, while the facility is expected to start operation in November. The casino venue will offer 500 slot machines and electronic table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat featuring remote dealers. The company’s subsidiary further unveiled plans to file an application for a sports betting license in the future.

So far, three of the five planned mini-casinos have started operation in Pennsylvania. The first Category 4 casino in the state was opened in Westmoreland County in 2020 by Cordish Cos. In August 2020, Penn National Gaming followed suit with the second mini-casino in the state, which opened doors at the site of a former mall department store in York. In December 2020, the company opened another mini-casino in Berks County. Greenwood’s Shippensburg Parx will be the fourth one.

The fifth mini-casino operating license was won in 2020 by Philadephia investor Ira M. Lubert who agreed on a collaboration with Bally’s Corp. to operate it. In March 2021, the auction process was challenged in court by Cordish Cos. and, for the time being, the resolution is delayed by the ongoing litigation.

Shippensburg Parx Expected to Generate $1.8-Million Gamblng Tax Revenue

The venue, called Shippensburg Parx, is the fourth of the 5 mini-casinos that were allowed under the 2017 gambling expansion of Pennsylvania, which enhanced casino gambling’s availability to the entire state and authorized online gambling, mini-casinos, also known as Category 4 casinos, and video game terminals in local truck stops.

In April 2021, the supervisors of the Shippensburg Township voted 3 to 0 to back the mini-casino project that, according to preliminary figures will generate local gaming tax revenue of about $1.8 million. The mini-casino is set to create 125 permanent jobs.

After Greenwood Gaming won the auction for the mini-casino license, the company chose a location near Shippensburg. The company dismissed its first choice for the casino’s location at Exit 29 and I-89 and shifted its focus to the former location of Lowe, which features adequate road access and a spacious parking lot. The earlier project of the venue involved a Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant, but Greenwood’s COO finally revealed that the casino intends to operate all food and beverage services on its own.

The company has not yet decided what it would do with the unoccupied half of the former Lowe’s store.

The Shippensburg Parx mini-casino project faced opposition from local anti-gambling campaigners in May 2021, who shared some concerns that the venue would attract underaged customers from the Shippensburg University situated nearby.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.