Penn National Gaming Files For License - Tuesday 27th of December 2005

WYOMISSING, Pennsylvania – Penn National Gaming, Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) announced today that it filed its Category 1 license application with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The application relates to Penn National's proposed Hollywood Casino® racing and gaming facility at the Company's Penn National Race Course and includes comprehensive details of the scope of the project, its budget and the expected regional economic benefits to be derived from the facility. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has set a December 28, 2005 deadline for receipt of Category 1 license applications.

Penn National's proposed Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville will be a state-of-the art integrated racing and gaming facility. The estimated $262-million budget includes $212 million for construction and the purchase of an initial 2,000 gaming devices and the $50 million license fee. The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will be a five-story, 365,000 square foot facility and will be sized for 3,000 slot machines. The amenities for the initial phase of the project will include: a food court with three restaurants; a fine dining restaurant; a sports bar; track side dining and various concessions to serve the racing area; entertainment, bar and lounge areas on the gaming level; and, a five-story parking garage and valet service parking. Penn National intends to raze the existing racing facilities at Penn National Race Course and commence construction of the new integrated racing/gaming facility immediately upon being licensed and expects pre-opening construction to take approximately twelve months.

Peter M. Carlino, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National commented, "The filing of Penn National's Category 1 license application represents an important milestone in advancing one of the Company's highest priority development projects. We have long believed that Penn National Race Course represents an ideal opportunity to add value by applying our proven development and management skills. We expect to create a quality entertainment center and elevate the pari-mutuel offering, while simultaneously driving revenues and job growth in the state. Subject to regulatory approval, we expect that the proposed Hollywood Casino racing and gaming facility will serve as a centerpiece property in our growing portfolio of regional assets."

Similar to the successful approach Penn National has employed at its Charles Town, West Virginia facility, Penn National has developed a long-term Master Plan for Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. The Master Plan includes the potential future addition of a buffet, hotel and conference center, retail outlets, an entertainment center, an additional parking deck, and additional casino space which would allow the facility at full capacity to accommodate 5,000 gaming devices.

Mr. Carlino added, "We look forward to continuing our productive work with local officials, the horsemen and the PGCB to ensure that Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is an outstanding thoroughbred race track facility, a quality entertainment center and an economic contributor to the region."

Penn National Gaming estimates that the new gaming facility will create approximately 1,000 new jobs with competitive benefits. As outlined in Penn National's Diversity Plan included in the license application, Hollywood Casino is committed to recruiting, developing and retaining the best employees regardless of race, gender or other characteristics so that the workforce reflects the diverse elements of the community.

Penn National Race Course is located on approximately 600 acres and is 15 miles northeast of Harrisburg, 100 miles west of Philadelphia and 200 miles east of Pittsburgh. Penn National Race Course is one of only two thoroughbred racetracks in Pennsylvania and has been continually offering live racing since 1972.

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