Pennsylvania: Hollywood Casino Morgantown, Lady Luck Nemacolin approved to modify gaming offerings

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has granted two state casinos, Hollywood Casino Morgantown and Lady Luck Nemacolin, approval to reduce their total slot machine count and modify their gaming floors at its latest monthly meeting. 

Hollywood Casino Morgantown has been granted permission to reduce 30 slot machines on its gaming porch. The casino’s general manager, Marc Guastella, and the legal representative, Michael Fabius of Ballard Spahr, were in charge of presenting the Board with the proposed modifications.

The casino intends to adjust the total amount of slots on its porch from 147 to 117. In its presentation to the PGCB, the casino representatives noted those machines have an occupancy rate that is less than a third of other slots on the gaming floor. According to them, gaming porch machines have a win per unit per day (WPUPD) that is about 75% less than that of the other gaming options.

This is not the first time Hollywood Casino Morgantown has asked for slot machine reductions since its opening in December 2021. In January 2022, the casino removed 17 slots, and in December of that year, it removed a further 15 machines from the gaming porch. The decisions proved not to be bad for business: tax revenue increased by roughly $400,000 following the first reduction, and by roughly $1 million in March 2023.

While the new cut would leave Hollywood Casino Morgantown with 697 machines overall, the property does not believe the loss of more slots will negatively influence operations, with Gaustella telling the PGCB that the casino’s business “continues to grow year over year.”

For his part, Fabius told commissioners that, while there is no timetable for the removal, the process is expected to happen “swiftly.” Officials also noted Hollywood Casino Morgantown is looking at non-gaming options to fill the freed space, and that no staffing will be affected by the move.

Lady Luck Nemacolin refreshes gaming floor

In Lady Luck Nemacolin’s case, the property is aiming to redesign its gaming floor to add several slot machines. However, at the same time, the casino will be giving some rentals back to parent company Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), leading to an overall slight reduction in machines.

John Gibboni, general manager of the casino, and Fabius, who also represents Lady Luck Nemacolin, shared details of the proposed changes to the PGCB at its latest meeting. They explained the venue would undergo a slot machines transaction, installing 81 new slots while shipping out 100 CDI-owned machines.

The move is the latest in a series of changes at Lady Luck Nemacolin since getting its license renewed back in June. The casino now operates seven days a week, and eyes property-wide renovations in the future. And while its gaming floor modification will see an overall reduction in gaming machines, by 19 slots, Fabius told regulators the move is a welcomed one as it will refresh the slot count with new products.

Moreover, Lady Luck Nemacolin could further add more slots after the gaming floor redesign, pointed out Gibboni, meaning the reduction would only be temporary. In addition, casino officials noted the property intends to add a coffee bar and an entertainment area in the future, with no staffing changes projected.

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