Pennsylvania Supreme Court Could Get Involved In Dispute Over Mini-Casino

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on February 27, 2023
nittany mall pennsylvania casinos ira lubert

The Cordish Companies is serious in its fight over the future of a project to make Centre County among those to host Pennsylvania casinos. The company filed an appeal on Feb. 23 with Pennsylvania’s highest court. It asks the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to vacate the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)’s decision to issue the license.

The PGCB unanimously voted to issue Bally’s a Category 4 mini-casino license for its proposed $127 million project. Ira Lubert, SC Gaming OpCo, and Bally’s intended to redevelop the College Township mall near Penn State University’s main campus.

The Pennsylvania state court ruled against SC Gaming and the PGCB, requesting more information on the legal arguments involved. The court gave 30 days to SC Gaming and the state gaming board to respond to the latest order.

Cordish argues Ira Lubert violated the Pennsylvania casinos bidding rules

Cordish argues that Lubert violated the bidding rules by arranging an investment group before bidding and submitting the $10 million payment.

In their appeal to Pennsylvania’s highest court, Cordish attorneys claim the PGCB had no legal authority to proceed with Lubert’s casino proposal. The team insists that Lubert wrongfully partnered with investors before paying the licensing fee.

Cordish is determined to keep the project moving forward. It now requests that the state Supreme Court overturn the PGCB’s decision to give Bally’s the casino licence.

Cordish and Ira Lubert go way back

Ira Lubert was the highest bidder during the PGCB’s auction round held in September 2020. The company had a winning offer of $10,000,101.

Stadium Casino LLC lost to Ira Lubert’s SC Gaming bid and has fought the ruling ever since. As the competing casino developer, Stadium continues challenging the legitimacy of Lubert’s casino bid.

Doing business in Pennsylvania as Stadium Casino, the company is an affiliate of The Cordish Companies. Stadium Casino qualified to present an auction tender since it operates Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. The company also runs the Category 4 property Live! Casino Pittsburgh in Westmoreland.

Three gaming firms hoping to bring casino to Centre County

Meanwhile, Ira Lubert, SC Gaming OpCo and Bally’s hope to redevelop the College Township mall, near Penn State University’s main campus. The companies plan to locate the new casino at the former Macy’s store in the Nittany Mall. If the project receives the green light from the state, Bally’s will repurpose the former Macy’s store into a casino. As announced by the developers, the new gaming facility would feature 750 slot machines, 30 table games and a sportsbook.

While investors have high hopes for the project, the local State College community is against having a casino at the Nittany Mall. The main reason is that the proposed location is less than five miles from Penn State University.

It is now up to the state’s highest court to decide whether to get involved in a dispute over the State College mini-casino. Either way, the Cordish appeal and the future of the proposed casino project remain to be determined in the coming months.

Photo by PlayUSA
Katarina Vojvodic Avatar
Written by
Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

View all posts by Katarina Vojvodic
Privacy Policy