No racing as casino kicks off - Friday 15th of February 2008

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will open their slot machines to the public today.

However, a forecast of snow, freezing rain, and single-digit wind chills has canceled plans for Penn Nationals simultaneous kickoff of the live horse racing season.

"Our intention has always been to be able to present the entire gaming, racing, and entertainment experience to our guests on opening day," general manager Gary Luderitz said.

Unfortunately, the weather reports for this region all point toward conditions that would not prove conducive for live racing."

The cancellation of live racing wont affect full-card simulcasting that begins today at noon.

Wagering on tracks from across the country will be offered in the new simulcast theater on the second floor and on the third-floor concourse.

The forecast for central Pennsylvania calls for light snow throughout the day, then rain turning to freezing rain in the evening.

Nearly a third of the entries on tonights card were shippers from other tracks. Poor road conditions would have led to many of those horses not making the trip to Hollywood Casino for opening night.

"Our horsemen have been anxiously awaiting the return of live racing, but both sides of the track are in agreement that making this decision early is in the best interest of all parties," Luderitz said.

"We wouldnt want guests coming out for an evening of racing and gaming, and then have the races canceled due to weather-related issues."

Hollywood Casino is hopeful of starting live racing on Wednesday, with first post time at 6:45 p.m.

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