PENN continues regional casino upgrades with Joilet groundbreaking

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PENN Entertainment has hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future Hollywood Casino Joilet in Illinois as it continues to bolster its regional portfolio of casinos. 

The new Hollywood Casino property will replace the nearby riverboat casino and be a fully land-based casino and entertainment facility. 

Costing $185m to develop, Hollywood Casino Joilet will be close to the Rock Run Collection, a super-regional commercial and residential development near interstate highways that has daily traffic of 230,000 vehicles. 

The casino will have 850 slots and 44 table games, as well as a baccarat room, a sportsbook and restaurant and bar facilities. It will also have 10,000 square feet of event center space and 1300 parking spots. 

“We are very excited to be moving forward with construction on a new, state-of-the-art Hollywood Casino Joliet in an ideal location,” said Jay Snowden, CEO and President of PENN Entertainment. 

“Our close proximity to two interstates and surrounding mixed-use development will offer our modern facility with exceptional visibility and accessibility in the highly attractive Chicagoland market.”

PENN also pointed towards the economic benefits of the development, noting that the construction will create 450 jobs while there will be 515 permanent casino jobs once it is opened. 

Overall, it will increase PENN’s overall headcount in Joilet by 150 team members as it seeks further growth in Illinois. 

The construction is expected to take two years, after which the Riverboat casino will close and Hollywood Casino Joilet will welcome its first guests.

“From our day-one team members to the hundreds of individuals that will be joining us in the months ahead, this is an incredibly exciting milestone for all of us with the property and local community,” said Mike Thoma, Vice President & General Manager of Hollywood Casino Joliet. 

“We can’t wait to provide our guests with an even greater customer experience at the future Hollywood Casino Joliet.”

This construction is part of a wider range of regional property upgrades, in which it is also constructing a casino in Aurora, Illinois and a hotel in Columbus, Ohio

PENN has assigned an $850m for these growth projects, of which GLPI has committed $575m.