Berks

Rutter's partners with Penn National to open 1st gaming room

'VGTs are one example of our progressive model'

MANCHESTER TWP., Pa. - Gambling now comes at a convenience in Pennsylvania, thanks in part to a Berks County-based company.

Penn National Gaming, headquartered in Wyomissing, and Rutter's have teamed up to open the state's first room licenced by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for video gaming terminals (VGTs).

The room is located within a Rutter's store off Interstate 83 in Manchester Township, York County, about a half-mile from the convenience store company's corporate headquarters.

"Rutter's has evolved as a business over the years, from a dairy to convenience stores, from smokes and Cokes to fuel and food service," said Scott Hartman, Rutter's president and CEO. "We are constantly listening and learning from our customers, and VGTs are one example of our progressive model."

The VGTs are similar to casino slot machines in that every play has a randomly generated outcome from the previous play. By law, the minimum theoretical payout percentage is 85%, the same as slot machines in Pennsylvania casinos.

The VGTs, however, can accept a maximum bet of only $5 and can pay out as much as $1,000. They accept only cash for bets.

The new machines are the result of a 2017 state law that allows the placement of up to five VGTs at "truck stop establishments" that meet certain requirements set forth by the gaming control board.

Rutter's, in conjunction with Marquee by Penn, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, said it plans to open more than 10 VGT rooms in 2019 and more in 2020, including its store off Route 61 in Hamburg.

"We are excited to partner with Rutter's and combine our expertise with their established success in the convenience store industry," said Jeff Morris, Penn National's vice president of public affairs.

Once fully in place, VGTs are expected to generate more than $1.1 billion in total revenue, with as much as $400 million going to the state, according to the Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association. Businesses that host the VGTs are entitled to 15% of their net revenues.


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