In a highly anticipated announcement, today Penn National Gaming revealed the opening date for the Jamul Indian Village of California’s Hollywood Casino Jamul – San Diego. On Monday, October 10 the casino will open to the public. The news comes on the heels of an action by the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”) which approved Penn National’s management of the facility that they developed with, and on behalf of the Tribe. California Governor Jerry Brown signed a 25-year compact with the JIV on August 4, 2016.
Timothy J. Wilmott, President and Chief Executive Officer of Penn National, commented, “We are grateful to the Jamul Indian Village for giving us the opportunity to build this spectacular regional entertainment destination and are honored to serve as the manager of their facility and to help them realize their goal of becoming economically self-sufficient. Hollywood Casino, which created more than 1,200 construction jobs and approximately 1,000 permanent jobs, is the closest gaming facility to downtown San Diego and we look forward to providing our guests an unparalleled entertainment, gaming and dining experience.”
The casino, located just off State Route 94, about 20 miles from downtown San Diego has not been without its challenges in achieving an opening over several decades. Several lawsuits have been filed, with at least one reaching the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and others that may still be in process on lesser matters. Several local residents are vehemently opposed to the project, with the most ardent detractors supporting efforts by the Jamul Action Committee or “JACJAMUL” and the Jamul Community Church. Another organization that has been involved in information campaigns is Stand Up California.
Pursuant to the NIGC’s authorization, Penn National will serve as the manager of Hollywood Casino Jamul — San Diego for an initial term of 7 years and will earn a fee of 30 percent of net revenue (earnings before taxes as defined by the NIGC) for the management of the facility, as well as a licensing fee of 2 percent of gross revenue for the use of the Hollywood brand and marketing services. The approximately $460 million refinancing, to be obtained by an affiliate of JIV, is expected to close shortly after the facility opens and is anticipated to cover development costs (including those advanced by Penn National), retirement of tribal debt, working capital and financing costs. Penn National will continue to hold approximately $125 million of the refinancing debt, which is expected to accrue interest at a rate of LIBOR plus 8.5 percent.
The facility will feature over 1,700 slot machines and 43 live table games along with multiple dining and entertainment options, including the first ever Tony Gwynn’s Sports Pub.
“On behalf of our more than 1,000 team members – the vast majority of whom were hired locally – we are truly excited this day has finally arrived and we can’t wait to open our doors and begin providing world class entertainment and customer service,” said Richard St. Jean, General Manager of Hollywood Casino Jamul – San Diego. “I want to thank the Jamul Indian Village for entrusting my team with this responsibility. We are committed to working to realize the full promise of this economic engine.”