Caernarvon residents react to casino getting final approval

CAERNARVON TWP., Pa. - The cards have been dealt. Hollywood Casino Morgantown is one step closer to becoming a reality.

"I think it's awesome," said Morgantown resident Rasheeda White. "[It's] gonna bring more people into the neighborhood, more finances."

State casino regulators on Wednesday approved Penn National Gaming's plans for the mini-casino, which will be built adjacent to the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Morgantown interchange in Caernarvon Township.

Plans call for 30 table games in the center of the casino surrounded by 750 slot machines. There are also a stage, a sports betting area, and restaurants.

"I think it will be a good thing to have around here, 'cause this place is boring," said Carissa Jones, a resident of East Earl Township, Lancaster County.

The casino is expected to create hundreds of jobs and bring millions of dollars to the township. Some, however, said they're not betting on any real payouts.

"We're just a little upset it got passed," said resident Rob Lewis. "We're more worried about the culture."

Others are concerned about heavy traffic, even though experts testified Wednesday that traffic wouldn't negatively impact the area.

One woman, who declined to give her name, said she believes the casino will be a major blow to what she calls a very "faith-based" community.

"It doesn't reflect the values of this area," the woman explained. "[I] fear it will bring in undesirable things, like drugs, sex trafficking, more traffic and some things that might cause problems for families and children."

Penn National has recently stepped up to try and connect with the community by donating $5,000 to tornado cleanup efforts.

Construction of the new casino is set to begin soon, with plans to open by the end of 2020.

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