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Proposed ‘Hollywood Casino York’ said to bring economic development to York County

SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board held a public holding input hearing on Thursday to discuss the proposed Penn National Gaming 'Hollywood Casino’ in York County.

This comes after Penn National Gaming submitted an application to build a mini-casino at the York Galleria Mall in Springettsbury Township.

“I think this is a positive change for the community and for the township," said Pam Baum, Springettsbury Township resident. It’s a good place to live, a good place to work and we’d like it to be a good place to play," added Baum.

Most people at the hearing say they are in favor of the plans.

“I would love to see a casino closer," said Pat Hufnagle, Springettsbury Township resident. "Seven minutes from here, I think that would be wonderful," he added.

Penn National Gaming officials say the casino would be a part of the York Galleria Mall in Springettsbury Township  on the first floor where Sears once stood.

“That will drive tens and thousands of new visits to the mall and will hopefully become a catalyst for redevelopment in additional investments into the mall," said Daniel Ihm, Vice President, Hollywood Casino Penn National Race Course.

Penn National officials say the casino is expected to bring in 200 full-time jobs, more tourism and nearly one million dollars a year in tax revenue to Springettsbury Township.

In total, York County would see a whopping — $60 million dollar tax bump — something county officials say they can get on board with.

“The primary way for local government, county government or a school district to maintain those property taxes meaning not increase them, is by growing and diversifying their tax basis, this will do just that," said Kevin Schreiber, York County Economic Alliance President.

However one person in the crowded room took to the podium to voice their concerns.

“In my little block there are four families that had relatives with significant gambling issues and they probably didn’t self identify, so there’s a lot more going on out there than you think with people that have gambling problems," said Eric Culberston, Springettsbury Township resident.

Anther public meeting will be held in Harrisburg in the coming months before a final decision is made.