Parx Casino Halts Expansion Plans amid Pennsylvania Skill Games Dispute

Parx Casino, a premier gaming and entertainment destination in Pennsylvania, has announced a halt to its expansion plans due to the ongoing dispute over skill games in the state. An executive from Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, the parent company of Parx Casino, confirmed the postponement of the project, which included the construction of a 13-story luxury hotel on the casino and racetrack grounds.

The Parx Casino in Pennsylvania at night. (Source: Visit Philadelphia)

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The original hotel project was set to be a significant addition to the Parx Casino complex, featuring upscale amenities such as a spa and a rooftop restaurant. However, the unresolved status of skill games has led Greenwood Gaming to rethink its investment strategy.

"There is ongoing litigation and potential legislative action regarding so-called skill games. Until there is clarity with that, we have decided not to make any very large investments in the property."

Marc OppenheimerGreenwood Racing Chief Marketing Officer

Instead of the new construction, the company has decided to renovate the existing Inn at Fox Chase, transforming it into a Parx-branded hotel. While this renovation will not be on the same grand scale as the previously planned luxury hotel, it aims to provide convenient accommodations for casino patrons.

Greenwood Gaming acquired the Inn at Fox Chase earlier this year. The renovation project will update the current facilities to better serve the needs of Parx Casino's guests, ensuring that visitors have a comfortable place to stay nearby. This move reflects the company's commitment to enhancing guest experiences despite the uncertainties posed by the skill games issue.

Unlike traditional slot machines, which are heavily regulated and taxed at approximately 50% on winnings, skill games operate in a grey area without the same level of oversight or taxation. This discrepancy has created a competitive imbalance, with casinos required to comply with stringent regulations and contribute substantial tax revenue to the state. In contrast, skill games benefit from operating without similar constraints, leading to calls for regulatory reform.

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A Search for a Final Solution

The controversy over skill games in Pennsylvania has been a significant point of contention, complicating the gaming landscape in the state. Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to review a lower court ruling that permitted skill games to remain operational. This ongoing litigation adds another layer of complexity to the regulatory environment, making it challenging for casinos like Parx to make long-term strategic decisions.

Governor Josh Shapiro has been a vocal advocate for regulating skill games, including them in his budget proposal as a measure to address the issue. However, the push for regulation has encountered resistance from some state lawmakers, leading to a legislative stalemate. The governor's efforts aim to create a fairer playing field for all gaming operators in Pennsylvania and to ensure that skill games contribute their fair share to state revenues.

As the debate over skill games continues, Greenwood Gaming's decision to delay its expansion plans underscores the broader impact of regulatory uncertainty on business investment. The company remains focused on providing high-quality experiences for its customers through the renovation of the Inn at Fox Chase while navigating the complex legal landscape. The outcome of the ongoing litigation and legislative efforts will be critical in shaping the future of gaming in Pennsylvania.


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