CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Concerts could bring more gamblers to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. That’s the hope, at least, of casino officials who officially opened a new, 1,200-seat concert venue at the Jefferson County casino — the largest in West Virginia — on Saturday.
“In our business, convenience is very important, how close you’re located to folks, but folks will drive the extra time if you have a reason for them to come and entertainment events are certainly that special reason,” said Al Britton, general manager for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited, featuring two former members of Creedence Clearwater Revival, performed the inaugural show at the Hollywood Casino’s new event center this weekend. Future scheduled events include The Spinners and Sinbad, a comedian.
“The main goal is to have at least the same amount of amenities and then we believe our customer service will set us apart,” Britton told MetroNews. “In addition, one of the things we think we have is a very convenient, easily accessible and safe location.”
Like West Virginia’s other casinos, Charles Town has been facing increased competition from across state lines in recent years. By the end of August, there will be six casinos open in Maryland — a prime draw area for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
The effects are clear. According to an audit that was recently presented to the West Virginia Lottery Commission, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races saw a $90 million decline in revenues between 2012 and 2013.
Together, West Virginia’s five casinos lost more than $140 million during that time period.