Rutter’s Picks Penn National as Preferred Gambling Machine Operator

Penn National to operate slots-like gaming terminals at 20 Rutter’s locations, pending approval from the state Gaming Control Board

Pennsylvania convenience store chain Rutter’s today announced that it has selected an affiliate of casino operator Penn National Gaming to operate video gaming terminals (VGTs) at its properties. At least 20 Rutter’s establishments are expected to receive initial approval to feature VGTs.

Marquee by Penn, LLC, an affiliate of Penn National, has been chosen as the preferred Terminal Operator by the major store chain, it became known.

Under an omnibus gambling expansion legislation signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall of 2017, certain establishments are eligible to host no more than five VGTs each as long as they meet criteria set by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The gambling devices resemble traditional slot machines. Under state laws, the devices can accept maximum bets of $5 and pay out a maximum $1,000 to winning players.

Winnings should be paid out at special redemption machines that are located on site. People under 21 are prohibited from wagering on VGTs. In addition, the state’s gambling law mandates that the machines are placed in an area that is constantly observed by an employee and cannot be accessed easily by minors.

Penn National has obtained a conditional license to operate VGTs around the state from the local gambling regulator. Subject to final regulatory approval, the major gaming company will operate gaming terminals at Rutter’s stores. The chain has submitted application with the Gaming Control Board, seeking permission to initially install VGTs at 20 locations.

Storied History and Shared Attributes

Commenting on today’s announcement, Rutter’s CEO and President Scott Hartman said that they are a company with a storied history in Pennsylvania and “a proven commitment to the communities in which [they] serve” and that their decision to select Penn National as their preferred VGT operator was very much based on the fact that the gaming company shared the same attributes.

Being selected as Rutter’s terminal operator, Penn National reached another milestone in its Pennsylvania growth strategy. Last year, a property owned by the company became Pennsylvania’s first casino to go live with legal sports betting. Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course began accepting wagers in mid-November. The property is currently operating a temporary sportsbook, while its main betting facility is under construction.

Pennsylvania legalized the provision of wagering services, both at brick-and-mortar venues and digitally, in the fall 2017 as part of the above-mentioned sweeping gambling expansion push. Sports betting then became possible due to the May 2018 decision of the US Supreme Court to lift a long-standing federal ban on the practice.

Back in September, Penn National received an approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to operate online casino gaming on the territory of the state.

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