WYOMISSING — Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) announced today that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries and the Jamul Indian Village (“the Tribe”) have entered into definitive agreements to jointly develop a Hollywood-branded casino and resort on the Tribe’s trust land in San Diego County, California. The proposed facility is located approximately 20 miles east of downtown San Diego, right off Route 94.
The proposed $360 million development will include a three-story gaming and entertainment facility of approximately 200,000 square feet featuring at least 1,700 slot machines, 50 live table games including poker, multiple restaurants, bars and lounges and a partially enclosed parking structure with over 1,900 spaces. The proposed project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and up to 1,500 permanent jobs in the area. It is anticipated that construction could commence late this year with an expected construction period of approximately 24 months. Penn National may, under certain circumstances, provide backstop financing to the Tribe in connection with the project and, upon opening, Penn National will manage the casino and resort.
The agreements with Penn National will allow the Tribe to realize its vision for revitalizing its six-acre reservation, while creating and supporting employment opportunities. Ultimately, the newly-designed project will create jobs for the local community in the Jamul and Dulzura areas, allow the Tribe to become self-sufficient and enable it to share gaming revenue with local governments and charities.
“The development and management of a Hollywood-branded casino and resort with Executive Council Chairman Hunter and the Jamul Indian Village will deliver a balance of economic benefits, environmental stewardship and social responsibility,” said Timothy Wilmott, President and Chief Operating Officer of Penn National Gaming, which operates the Hollywood Casino and racetrack near Harrisburg. “We look forward to a productive collaboration with the Tribe that will benefit the community, the Tribe and Penn National.”
“We are pleased to work closely with Penn National Gaming, a respected industry leader that brings significant experience, energy and integrity to this important project,” said Tribal Executive Council Chairman Raymond Hunter. “Penn National has a proven track record of development and operation of first-class gaming facilities and its strong balance sheet is an asset to the project. Penn National also shares the Tribe’s focus on a development that is consistent with the character of the Jamul area. In addition, the Company shares our commitment to be respectful of environmental requirements and local processes inherent to this project.”
Earlier this year, after an extensive and comprehensive Tribal environmental review process consistent with both the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Tribe approved and certified the project’s Tribal Environmental Evaluation and Mitigation Plan and is now working with State and County agencies to address potential environmental impacts.
Lakes Entertainment, Inc., which until last year was working with the Tribe on this project, remains a subordinated lender but has no further rights or obligations with respect to the development process or facility management. The agreements between Penn National and the Tribe have been filed with and are subject to the National Indian Gaming Commission’s review and approval.