A public hearing on the proposed Hollywood Casino Morgantown will be held at the Caernarvon Township, Berks County, municipal building at 3307 Main St. at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 4.
Pennsylvania gaming law requires a public hearing be held for individuals to voice their support, concerns or opposition within the local municipality where a proposed casino will be located.
This hearing, called by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board acting on an application submitted by Penn National Gaming Inc. to open a mini-casino at a Morgantown site, is to hear testimony on the category 4 casino application.
“Nobody will be turned away, however preregistration to speak is required,” said Caernarvon Township Administrator/Secretary Joan A. Bair.
Those wishing to speak at the hearing need to register at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov and click the "Penn National Casino Berks Public Input Hearing" link under the QuickLinks section of the home page. The deadline to register to speak at the hearing is noon on Friday, March 1.
As per the website: All registered speakers will be permitted five minutes to address the Board. The presiding officer will announce the order of the speakers at the appropriate time. No speaker will be permitted to cede time to another speaker. The presiding officer will notify the speaker when his or her allotted time has elapsed. A group of individuals may designate a single individual to speak on behalf of his/her group, company or other affiliation. In such a case, the group of individuals represented may stand in proximity to the speaker to demonstrate the number of persons involved.
Access to the township building and parking are available in the rear of the building.
A listing of all government officials, community groups and individuals who have registered will be posted on the board's website one week before the hearing. Those who cannot attend and wish to submit written comments can do so via the same web link, by e-mail to email@example.com, or by fax to 717-265-7416. Mailed comments must be postmarked by March 1 and mailed to PA Gaming Control Board, P.O. Box 69060, Harrisburg PA 17106.
“This area of the township is zoned for this type of business since the Planning Commission has updated the township ordinances over time and they have all things in place,” said Bair. “An October application for the construction of Hollywood Casino Morgantown has progressed now to this point.”
Township supervisors are on the record as being for this project to increase the economy for their area. Bair also indicated that they are working on the traffic patterns in the area.
Caernavon Township, Berks County, received a Multimodal Transportation Fund grant of $208,854 to decrease the turning radius from Route 10 onto Shiloh Road and improve sight distances at the intersection, announced Gov. Tom Wolf in a Feb. 1 release. This project was one of 50 projects in 23 counties selected for grants for a total of $44.5 million in funding. Applications were evaluated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
"Transportation is critical to connecting communities and economies, and we are an important partner in bringing progress across the state," Wolf said in the release. "These investments will improve overall mobility and safety while bolstering commercial projects."
Jeff Morris, vice president of public affairs and government relations from Penn National Gaming, will be in attendance, along with other officials to introduce the proposed 36-acre site near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 176 and Route 10.
The site has been noted to have easy access to patrons from the Philadelphia region as well as Reading and Central Pennsylvania.
The project “will include a $111 million casino with an 80,000-square-foot building, featuring 750 slot machines, 30 table games, a full-sports betting lounge, plus room for 10 more table games,” said Morris. “It will be constructed in the image and standards that people associate with Penn National and Hollywood Casinos and will include a restaurant, entertainment lounge and food court.”
Morris said that local contractors and vendors may call Penn National direct at 610-373-2400 for information on how to access and register for future bidding on contracts for this project.
Later a separate public hearing will be held in Harrisburg at a date to be announced.
The March 4 hearing will be live streamed at https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?p=141.