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State College Casino License Could Come Under Further Scrutiny

Written By Katarina Vojvodic | Updated:
Court Order Issued On Pennsylvania Casino Project

Despite getting a license approval, the court battle continues over a proposed Centre County mini Pennsylvania casino project. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has previously issued the Category 4 license to:

  • Ira Lubert
  • SC Gaming OpCo
  • and Bally’s

However, the Pennsylvania state court recently made a preliminary ruling requesting more information on the legal arguments involved.

The latest court order comes from the state’s commonwealth court, ruling against preliminary arguments raised by the casino developer. In other words, a court order has been issued against SC Gaming and the PGCB.

The court is giving 30 days to SC Gaming and the state gaming board to respond to this latest order, according to a report by WJACTV.

The State College casino project saga continues

After securing the winning mini casino bid in 2020, Lubert partnered with Bally’s to bring the gaming facility to Centre County. The companies have been trying to redevelop the College Township mall into a casino for two years.

Once receiving the license approval, the companies planned to locate the gaming facility at the former Macy’s store in the Nittany Mall.

Another casino developer, Stadium Casino LLC, filed suit in commonwealth court in July 2021. The company challenged the State College PA casino project and the licensing procedure on several issues. Stadium Casino lost to Ira Lubert’s SC Gaming bid three years ago and has fought the ruling ever since.

Cordish Companies, the competing casino developer, also challenged the legitimacy of Ira Lubert’s casino bid. The company presented its arguments to the state’s gaming control board. Cordish Companies claimed Bally’s involvement brought in an outside operator not eligible to run a mini-casino in the state.

The proposed Nittany Mall casino project also received massive pushback from a group of community members.

Pennsylvania casino developers had big plans for the Centre County project

The developers of a new casino in Centre County thought they cleared a major obstacle when receiving a license. The Nittany Mall Casino was supposed to be Pennsylvania’s fifth Category 4 casino.

It now remains uncertain how soon the casino could be open for business.

In January, the developers told the state gaming control board that the project would provide Centre County with new revenue. According to the investors, the $127 million casino project should also bring a new entertainment venue. If the project receives the green light from the state and moves forward, it will include the following:

  • 750 slot machines
  • 30 table games
  • A retail sportsbook

In addition, the project could create nearly 500 construction jobs and 350-400 permanent jobs. According to the investors’ initial plans, the facility construction is expected to take up to a year.

Photo by Graphic by PlayUSA
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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.

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