Penn National Gaming Inc. has signed a lease to renovate a former restaurant in Gloucester Township and turn it into New Jersey's fifth off-track wagering facility, the company announced Jan. 16.
"Favorites at Gloucester Township" will be located at the former Stone Grille on Blackwood-Clementon Road just off Route 42 in southern New Jersey. Gloucester Township is located in Camden County, where the former Garden State Park was located.
"We are pleased to have a signed lease and can now go forward on the process of obtaining the necessary approvals through the New Jersey Racing Commission," said Chris McErlean, vice president of racing for PNGI. "We look forward to working with township officials in bringing jobs and an exciting economic development opportunity to this area.
"We feel 'Favorites' will offer a sports bar atmosphere that we think will appeal to racing fans as well as those looking for an exciting entertainment option."
Barring any issues in obtaining the necessary local and state approvals, the OTW facility is expected to open in late summer 2013. Renovations to the interior of the facility will include the addition of nearly 100 flat-screen televisions, officials said.
PNGI is a partner with Greenwood Racing in Freehold Raceway in New Jersey and will be using one of Freehold's four OTW licenses for the Gloucester Township facility. The action stems from resolution of a lawsuit PNGI filed against Greenwood over delays in the opening of an OTW facility in southern New Jersey.
The joint venture, called Pennwood, had planned to build a betting parlor on the Garden State Park site, but It never came to fruition. Greenwood owns Parx Casino & Racing and several off-track betting parlors in the Philadelphia area, just across the Delaware River from southern New Jersey.
The Freehold partners in 2008 opened an OTW facility in Toms River in Ocean County.
Greenwood Racing owns and operates Atlantic City Race Course and Favorites at Vineland in southern New Jersey. Also, some of the Atlantic City casinos have race books.
The other OTWs in New Jersey are located in Bayonne and Woodbridge Township in northern New Jersey.