A little over a week after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that could see the eastern state license up to ten new satellite casinos and several municipalities in Lancaster County are reportedly already considering whether to opt out of the possibility of hosting one of the coming facilities.
According to a report from local newspaper LNP, the leaders of Lancaster County’s Manor Township and West Hempfield Township will discuss the issue at meetings later today while the municipalities of Denver Borough, West Lampeter Township and East Lampeter Township are to consider the matter on Monday.
With 526,436 residents, Lancaster County is the state’s sixth most populated county although the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course located some 22 miles away in neighboring Dauphin County is the closest casino. This drought could see the area targeted as a location for one of the new miniature casinos, which are to be permitted to operate up to 750 slots alongside a maximum of 30 gaming tables.
However, the legislation signed into law by Wolf on October 30 gives municipalities until the end of the year to officially opt out with J Ryan Strohecker, Manager for Manor Township, reportedly telling the newspaper that his area may become one of the first to do so owing to a ‘strong local push’ against any expansion of gambling.
“My suspicion from my one-on-one conversations with supervisors is that Manor Township will move in a direction to opt out,” Strohecker reportedly told LNP. “My suspicion is most municipalities in Lancaster County will opt out, at least initially. Of course, they can act later to reverse it.”
The newspaper reported that the Lancaster County municipality of East Hempfield Township is to also discuss the possibility of opting out as the site for any new satellite casino on November 15 followed five days later by nearby Mount Joy Township. It explained that Ephrata Borough will consider the same issue on November 27 while the leaders of Rapho Township purportedly deliberated the matter late last week but did not formulate a final decision owing to a lack of public input.