Penn National Worried About Satellite Casino Approval

With the passage of a gaming package in Pennsylvania, the gambling industry of the state is preparing to expand, including the addition of satellite casinos. Penn National Gaming, a gaming operator in Pennsylvania, has been opposed to satellite casinos for some time and lobbied hard to see the option not approved. With the announcement of the gaming expansion plans this week, Penn National has now seen their shares drop close to 3% as there are now concerns that the expansion will hurt the local racinos.

The expansion plans for the state include 10 new satellite casinos, which Penn National Gaming has strongly opposed. Earlier in October, the company sent out a position paper detailing their concerns of how their Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Race Course would be negatively affected. Penn National stated that the other eleven land based casinos of the state are better protected due to the 25 mile buffer zone proposed around each existing venue.

Several of these zones overlap which will extend the buffer. The Hollywood property is more isolated so its venue could potentially be just 25 miles from a satellite competitor. Most customers of the venue come from the outside of the 25 mile buffer zone, so a new venue might be more appealing, which would see Hollywood lose out on customers.

Eric Schippers is the Senior VP for public affairs and government relations for Penn National Gaming who stated that the company is beyond disappointed by the gaming expansion plan which Schippers called ‘ill-conceived and hasty’. The lawyers for Penn National Gaming are now going to be studying the 970 page bill in its entirety and weighing their legal options.

It would not be surprising to see the company take legal action in order to try and stop the satellite casinos in some manner.

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