West York mayor wants to roll dice on mini-casino

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2015 file photo, people try Grab Poker, a skill-based gaming machine, at the Gamblit booth during the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. The gambling industry is trying to attract younger players to the casino floor to revive revenues that have sagged in recent years. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Penn National Gaming won a bid to put a mini-casino in York County, and now some municipalities are expressing interest in it.

West York Mayor Shawn Mauck is talking with Penn National in hopes of having the state’s first mini-casino in his community.

“We’re currently in the former Giant Foods location right here in West York off of Market Street across from the York Fairgrounds,” Mauck (D) said. “I’d love for this to be our new mini-casino here in York County.”

That location has been vacant for a year. Mauck took ABC27 News to another location he thinks is perfect for a mini-casino.

“We’re here off Sumner Street, and we’re in the industrial area of West York. We have behind us what is known as The Big Ugly Warehouse, and behind you is the old Pfaltzgraff complex,” Mauck said.

Mauck says he spoke with Penn National representatives Thursday and plans to meet with them soon.

“We’re the neighbor of the City of York, so not only would our residents benefit from the job creation from the casino, but the economic impact on the borough would be significant,” Mauck said.

Penn National is looking at locations within 15 miles of Yoe. You can see a list of the municipalities opting out by clicking here or here for a map.

York Mayor Michael Helfrich says he’s open to the idea.

“We received a designation that 66 other counties would have liked,” said Kevin Schreiber, CEO of the York County Economic Alliance.

Schreiber says York County has hit the jackpot.

“Right up front, it’s a $100 million investment just to build the casino and to have it up and running,” Schreiber said. “Annually, it’s a projected $1 to $3 million dollars in local revenue, and then over 300 jobs.”

The mini-casino can have up to 750 slot machines, and Penn National plans to shell out an additional $2.5 million to include 30 table games.

“The many restaurant owners and business owners that are downtown would definitely benefit from the traffic. We’re very close to (Interstate) 83 and (Route) 30, so it would be easy to get to us,” Mauck said.

“I think Penn National is certainly looking within the metropolitan area. That could be the City of York and the surrounding area because these are smaller casinos that are attracting day trippers, maybe the overnight stay,” Schreiber said.

Penn National has six months to decide on a location.

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