Penn Names new GM to Plainridge Park

North Grounsell has been named general manager of Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts. He will replace Lance George, who opened the casino in 2015.

Penn National Gaming has announced that North Grounsell will take over as general manager of Plainridge Park Casino, the only slots parlor in Massachusetts. He will begin by the end of 2020.

His appointment was announced just before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the casino license for another five years. The panel had just heard glowing reviews of the casino’s first five years from Plainville municipal officials, officials from surrounding towns, the business community and Bay State legislators, all with the same message: renew the license. Which they did, by a unanimous vote, without any additional conditions.

Grounsell will take charge as the new license goes into effect. He comes to Plainville from Penn’s Ameristar Black Hawk casino in Colorado, where he has been assistant general manager.

Lance George, who led Plainridge Park from a year before it opened in 2015 until the present, is being promoted to run Penn’s Argosy Casino Riverside in Kansas City, Missouri. Before that, he was assistant general manager of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia for three years.

Before the license renewal vote, commissioners praised George as a good partner and for his honest dealings.

The license renewal was a yearlong process; the first time the commission has renewed a license since Plainridge Park was the first casino to open in the state under the state’s 2011 gaming expansion act. The panel’s staff created a framework for renewals that included much fact gathering and analysis of the impacts the casino has had compared to what it promised before its first license was issued.

As part of the renewal the commission wrote: “[T]he gaming licensee has clearly demonstrated a business ability to operate a successful gaming establishment.”

During five years of operation, patrons put more than $9.7 billion into the casino’s slots, which generated $777 million in revenue, of which 49 percent was paid to the state in taxes. Another $69.9 million has been paid to support the horse racing industry.