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Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, parent company of Parx Casino, has submitted plans to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to build a mini-casino in Shippensburg Township, Casino.org reported Wednesday.

“We’ve received great feedback from the community about the casino project. We are very excited to create a first-class gaming and entertainment destination in Shippensburg,” said Carrie Nork Minelli, spokeswoman for Parx Casino.

Greenwood Gaming put up $8.1 million in its winning bid in the Feb. 22 Category 4 location auction, and selected a point in South Newton Township as the center point. A mini-casino may be built within a 15-mile radius of that center point.

The casino will be a new build on a 10-acre site off exit 29 of I-81, Minelli said. There will be 475 slots and 40 electronic table games as well as a “sports bar/food concept,” she said.

“The site offers easy accessibility for residents and visitors and will provide plenty of space for parking,” she said.

Shippensburg Township supervisor Steve Oldt told The Sentinel this summer that representatives from Greenwood Gaming toured potential locations including an outparcel on a site that was recently approved for a 1.2 million distribution center near Exit 29 off of I-81. Work on that project is underway, and would include adding traffic signals to the ramps at I-81 and relocating Cramer Road.

The next point on the timeline for the casino’s development is a hearing to gather public comment about the proposal. That hearing will be held in Shippensburg Township at a date and location to be announced, according to gaming law.

A public version of the lengthy application for the Category 4 casino license will also be posted to the gaming control board’s website when it is available.

Oldt said Thursday that the township has not yet had direct contact with Greenwood officials, but that it would take another six months for the land development process to play out.

Minelli said Greenwood Gaming plans to start construction after the slot license is granted, and the construction process will take 18-24 months. The company looks to open in late 2020.

Shippensburg Township was only one of a few municipalities in Cumberland County that did not opt out of hosting a possible casino site late last year. Under the gaming expansion legislation, municipalities were given a Dec. 31, 2017, deadline to opt out of allowing a casino within its borders.

Two other high-priority sites for Greenwood Gaming’s casino plan had taken action to opt out and declined to opt back in, as permitted by the gaming legislation, when Greenwood Gaming approached them.

Officials first came to Carlisle in May, and then took their case to South Middleton Township when Carlisle officials declined to consider opting back in. South Middleton officials also said they considered the matter of opting out closed at an August meeting, and declined to opt back in.

In presentations to those two municipalities, Greenwood Gaming officials said the project would bring as many as 250 jobs to the municipality, and would be expected to bring in between $50 million and $55 million. The county and the municipality would each receive 2 percent of that revenue.

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