Racino moves up opening

AUSTINTOWN – Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, the new racino being developed here, will open Sept. 17.

The opening will occur pending final regulatory approval and comes earlier than previously indicated, according to information released Wednesday by the facility’s owner, Penn National Gaming Inc.

Once it is open, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mike Galle, general manager of the racino, said the building is near completion.

“We anticipate large crowds when we open the doors,” Galle said.

Hiring for the 400 permanent positions has been going on for months, and training is under way.

Racing is scheduled to start Nov. 24 on the one-mile, all-weather racetrack. The adjacent racetrack grandstand includes more than 1,000 enclosed seats and a simulcast theater that will allow race fans to wager on races at tracks throughout North America.

“We’re thrilled to be able to set our opening date for this new, state-of-the-art regional destination offering premier gaming, dining, racing and entertainment options,” said Tim Wilmott, president and chief executive officer of Penn National Gaming.

“We believe the facility is already serving as a catalyst for additional economic development in the area and will continue to spur economic growth in the future,” Wilmott said.

The $250 million development is located on state Route 46 just south of Interstate 80.

The gaming floor will open with 850 slots-like video lottery terminals, along with dining and entertainment, racino officials said.