The grand opening of Parx Casino Shippensburg, one of four mini-casinos authorized to open in Pennsylvania, will be delayed until “early 2023,” according to the casino’s website.
Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, the private-held company that operates Parx Casino, had initially planned to open the mini-casino in Shippensburg Township — a locality in Cumberland County — in late 2022.
It is unclear what caused the delay, but it will have the immediate effect of making online gaming enthusiasts wait a bit longer before any additional Pennsylvania online casinos or sportsbooks launch in the state.
Efforts to Open Mini-Casino Date Back to 2018
It has been a nearly five-year saga for Greenwood to get Parx Casino Shippensburg off the ground.
Greenwood began the mini-casino licensing process with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in February 2018. It submitted a winning bid of more than $8.1 million for a Category 4 license through the regulator.
The mini-casino could have opened earlier, but there were concerns about sinkholes and traffic at the original site — located just off Interstate 81 — chosen by Greenwood. As a replacement, the operator selected the site of a former Lowe’s home supply store in the Shippen Towne Center in March 2021.
The PGCB issued Greenwood a license for Parx Casino Shippensburg in January 2022, after collecting public input regarding the new location. Construction started shortly afterward, and Greenwood estimated that the property could be open in late 2022.
Under a category 4 license, an operator can run up to 750 slots. The PGCB approved a request by Greenwood to operate an additional 30 casino tables at Parx Casino Shippensburg for an added fee of $2.5 million. The proposal includes an option to add an extra ten tables within a year.
On the website for Parx Casino Shippensburg, Greenwood said the facility would measure 73,000 square feet and include about 500 slots and 48 electronic table positions.
“The casino will also feature sports wagering kiosks to bet on your favorite college and professional sporting events,” Greenwood said.
Delay Could Affect Online PA Gambling Options, Too
The delay in opening Parx Casino Shippensburg means there could be delays in getting any other online casinos or sportsbooks tied to the property to launch.
Eighteen online casinos are currently live in the Keystone State. The state’s gaming law requires online casinos to partner with a land-based facility, but there is no limit on the number of skins a land-based casino may have.
For example, the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course has five skins for online casino gaming — Barstool, BetMGM, DraftKings, PointsBet, and its house-branded Hollywood Casino app.
Pennsylvania’s gaming law only allows land-based casinos to have one online sportsbook and one for retail. It’s unclear what retail sportsbook will run the kiosks mentioned above.
Parx Casino Shippensburg has one of the three online sportsbook licenses still available. Another mini-casino, Live! Casino Pittsburgh also has one available, as does Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin.
Last month, the PGCB said it expected up to ten online casino apps to launch in Pennsylvania by the end of June 2023. The regulator said Bally Bet, Fanatics, Golden Nugget, PlayStar, and WynnBET were brands that had already started the licensure process.
The Cordish Companies launched the state’s first mini-casino — Live! Casino Pittsburgh — in November 2020. Penn Entertainment (formerly Penn National Gaming) opened Hollywood Casino York in August 2021 and Hollywood Casino Morgantown in November 2021.
Looking for a new place to play? Check out our rankings of the Best Online Casinos in PA.