Penn National Gaming announced Monday that it has selected Michael Galle to serve as the first general manager of its Austintown racino, scheduled to open in late 2014.
Galle, 43, is a 21-year veteran of the gaming industry. Currently, he serves as the assistant general manager for Penn National’s Hollywood Casino Toledo.
The company did not make Galle available to comment Monday because his appointment as general manager will not be effective until January. First, he must be licensed by the state’s racing and lottery commissions, said Penn National spokesman Bob Tenenbaum.
Tenenbaum added that though the company cast a wide net to find the best possible executive to run the $136 million facility, typically it chooses to hire internally for such positions.
Gary DeWitt, who is the currrent assistant general manager of Hollywood Casino, also was recently appointed as the first general manager of the company’s other racino under construction in Dayton.
In his role, Galle will assume full responsibility for the start-up, opening and management of the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, as the Austintown racino will be called.
The facility will be 100,000 square feet, include a food court, sports bar, 1,000 slot machines and 1,000 enclosed, climate-controlled seats with a view of a 1-mile state-of-the-art racetrack.
John Finamore, senior vice president of regional operations at Penn National, said Galle’s experience at the company made him an ideal candidate. In a statement, Finamore said Galle will be well-positioned to “leverage” that experience and the relationships he’s made in the state to help the success of the Austintown facility.
Before joining the Toledo casino in June 2011 as assistant general manager, Galle worked in several roles at Penn National’s Argosy Sioux City Casino in Iowa, including surveillance director, slot director and director of casino operations, until he was hired as the assistant general manger of that facility as well.
Galle has worked for Penn National — which operates 28 gaming facilities in 17 states and in Canada — since 1995.