The official name of this unique track is Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, though most horseracing lovers simply refer to the track as Penn National. It opened in 1972 and has the full complement of a one-mile dirt track and, inside that, a seven-furlong turf course.
The best-known race hosted by Penn National is the Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap, with a guaranteed purse of $200,000. The Penn Mile, inaugurated in 2013, is also held at the track. It's the only Grade II race at Penn, and it boasts a $500,000 purse. Additionally, the track hosts 10 other stakes races.
Each Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, Thoroughbred racing takes off at Penn National with a 6 p.m. post time for the first race. Typically, there will be an eight or nine-race card.
In 2008, Hollywood Casino opened at the track. Eventually, gaming developed to the point that the casino had over 2480 slots and 54 live table games. In 2018, Penn National became the first casino in the state to offer wagering on sports events.
With five separate dining and drinking venues, patrons can relax and enjoy the bucolic setting. Because the racetrack is nestled in the countryside, the gaming center arranges bus trips from the Hershey-Harrisburg area to the gaming complex.
OTB (off-track betting) is a major attraction at Penn National. Simulcast races are shown every day. Online wagering through Hollywood casinos is another enhancement of gaming possibilities. In addition to onsite and online wagering, Hollywood Casinos and Penn National have two other OTB sites in Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania.