Pennsylvania is adding to its gaming landscape with its latest move.
This week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted a license to the owner of the Rutter’s stores. In Walker Township, Juniata County, it will mark the first chain convenience store to put in video gambling machines as part of Pennsylvania’s gaming market.
York County will eventually get its own gambling spots as well. There are 18 Rutter’s stores under approval with applications at the gaming terminals in the Wrightsville and York area.
The locations of the Rutter's included in the plan:
According to the York Daily Record, 10 Category 4 mini-casino licenses are expected to bring in about $100 million plus additional money earned from tax revenue.
For each individual store, there will be a maximum of five terminals allowed. The pending applications for the other locations are going to be in spots that took themselves out of the running for construction of new casinos just over a year ago.
The biggest reason the Walker Township location will be first Rutter’s store to have the video gambling integrated was because it had the completed review by the board’s staff, according to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach via PennLive.com.
“They may need to address some issues and that might take time on their end,” Harbach told the York Dispatch. “If remedied, they may eventually be recommended to the board for approval or, if they are not able to remedy in order to qualify under the guidelines of the act, then they may be recommended for denial.
“We are moving on them as quickly as our staffing will permit.”
Taking a look at Rutter’s, the company owns 72 locations in central Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. Rutter’s serves as a gas station, convenience store and fast food location.
The company told the York Dispatch that just under one-third of the stores as prepared for insertion in Pennsylvania’s truck stop gambling landscape.
On top of that, Rutter’s has informed the public that these have been built to cater to truck drivers.
“They’re completely different than the Rutter’s down at the corner,” spokeswoman Pam Baldwin told PennLive last year. “We don’t call them truck stops. … But that’s what they are designed to be.”
Baldwin informed the York Dispatch that the executives of the company see these new video gambling machines as a logistical extension of Rutter’s partnership with the Pennsylvania Lottery system over the last 50 years.
As the first major store chain to make its move into the commercial gambling business, Rutter’s has faced plenty of opposition especially in areas where people are against the growth of gambling.
PennLive.com reports that two state senators in Lancaster County are looking into legislation that would give local groups the right to opt out of the video gaming terminals markets.
Gamblers must be 21 years or older to play at the VGT’s. There is no timetable in place for when the machines will be launched and usable.
In any event, this is a different aspect of the landscape and could certainly be a game changer in The Keystone State.