Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is a popular gambling destination in central Pennsylvania. It is located just outside of Hershey, PA near the town of Harrisburg. It attracts visitors from nearby Hershey Park as well as those in Harrisburg, Reading, Gettysburg and other large nearby cities. It is not as popular as casinos in the Philadelphia area, but appeals more towards the vacationers in Hershey.
The current casino at Hollywood was opened in 2008 on the same property as Penn National Race Course in Grantville, PA. It has hosted both thoroughbred and furlong horse races long before the casino was constructed. Its first race was held on August 30 of 1972. The track is a 1 mile long dirt track with an inner turf course. The race track and casino also offer simulcast betting on horses.
The casino at Hollywood offers both table games and slot machines. It started out only offering electronic machines, but has had table games since two years after it opened in 2010. Today it has a total of over 50 tables and 2,400+ slots which are spread across its nearly 100,000 square foot gaming floor. The casino at Hollywood is opened 24/7 and allows smoking in most areas unless otherwise noted.
When playing blackjack at Hollywood, the lowest limit table has a $15 minimum. On occasion (usually during certain weekends) they will have specials where the table minimums are dropped to $5, but the rules at these games are sub-par. Hollywood pays 3-2 on a natural blackjack at most all tables and the dealer stands on soft 17. Double down is allowed on any two cards, and splitting is allowed up to 3 hands.
There are a few additional blackjack tables located in the high limit area that have the same rules as the main pit. I believe there are about 4 or 5 blackjack tables here. The bet range here varies from $100 minimum to $500 minimum. The high limit room is sectioned off from the main floor and is located straight back from the main valet entrance.
Most of the blackjack tables at Hollywood offer a Lucky Ladies side bet. Any combination of 20 will pay out on this bet, but it increases the house edge significantly. The top payout for Lucky Ladies is 1,000-1 which is awarded to players who get two queen of hearts with a dealer blackjack.
There are also many Shufflemaster Royal Match machines spread across the gaming floor.
Hollywood Casino also features a wide range of other popular Vegas-style table games like Craps, Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Three Card Poker and more. A full list of table games available at Hollywood include:
– Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em
– Four Card Poker
– Three Card Poker
– Pai Gow Poker
– Fortune Pai Gow
– Let it Ride
– Spanish 21
– Big 6 Wheel
Hollywood Casino has one of the largest selections of slot machines in central Pennsylvania. This includes all of the casino enthusiast favorites such as Wheel of Fortune, Triple Double Diamond, Monte Carlo and more. The denominations available on all machines ranges from a penny to $100. There is a slots-only high limit room located just off the main entrance with machines of $5+ denominations.
Hollywood has a decent sized 16-table poker room within the casino which is opened 24/7. The main game here is No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em. They run daily tournaments as well as cash games. Other games you can find here are Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7-Card Stud and other games upon request. If you are looking to play here, it is recommended that you call ahead.
The horse racing track at Hollywood is known as Penn National Race Course and is owned by a company with the same name (Penn National Gaming). Penn National Gaming owns several properties across the country, including at least one casino or race track in 19 total states. One of their most popular properties includes the Tropicana in Las Vegas.
The race course at Hollywood is opened 24/7 year round for simulcast wagering, while live races are also held year round but only on select Wednesdays-Saturdays. The track runs both furlong and thoroughbred races. You can find a full racing schedule here.
Hollywood Casino does not have an overwhelming selection of dining options. If you don’t find a restaurant that’s to your liking, Hershey is just about a 10-15 minute drive and has tons to offer. The casino and race track at Hollywood have the following dining options available year round.
Final Cut Steakhouse: Offers quality steaks and fine dining. They also feature a menu of fine-wines and have even won several awards in Wine Spectacular Magazine.
Mountain View: Offers trackside views of the race track with American-style meals like sandwhiches, entrees and finger food.
SkyBox Sports Bar: Offers over 50 large screen TVs to watch live races and sports. They have a great bar and offer your standard American-style grille food.
Epic Buffet: Offers Seafood, American, Italian and Asian dishes prepared fresh daily by Master Chef Matt Laman.
Casual Dining & Racing Concessions: Offers a wide selection of different quick bite options.
H Lounge: Offers quick bites and alcohol. Live music is performed here on Fridays and Saturdays.
Aside from these options there is one casino bar located towards the back of the casino. SkyBox also has a pretty comprehensive bar as does H Lounge. Drinks are comped to active players as well on the casino floor. Service here is generally very good.
Currently, Hollywood does not have an on-site hotel. Since it is located just outside of Hershey, you can find dozens of hotel options right nearby. The closest hotels include many just off of 81 which are owned by national brands like Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Comfort Suites and others. If you have a players card at Hollywood, they will sometimes work in conjunction with local hotels to comp you rooms.