Pennsylvania mini casino licence decision not expected until autumn

Bally’s Corporation has signed an agreement to develop and run a casino at the Nittany Mall.
Bally’s Corporation has signed an agreement to develop and run a casino at the Nittany Mall.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board doesn’t expect to rule on the pending licence for a mini casino near State College until at least October.

US.- A licensing decision on the proposed $120m State College casino project from Bally’s Corporation and Pennsylvania businessman Ira Lubert is not expected until autumn, according to a timeline posted by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The earliest the board might motion to vote on the project is October 19, but it’s more likely to happen at the board’s November 16 meeting.

licence approval is needed before the casino can move forward. If the license is granted, the final step will be permit approvals for construction and renovations at the former Macy’s location in the mall. College Township Council already approved land development plans for the project last autumn.

The Nittany Mall is less than four miles from the Penn State campus in University Park. Bally’s has partnered with businessman Ira Lubert after he won the Category 4 satellite casino auction round. It plans to spend $123m to transform part of the dated, largely vacant shopping mall into a casino.

The casino would offer 750 slot machines, 30 table games, and sports betting. It would also have a sport-themed restaurant with space for live entertainment. Bally’s partnered with Lubert in September 2020.

Developers have presented a study that estimated that the casino would have a one-time economic impact of $43.6m for College Township and $61.4m for Centre County. The PGCB has fielded hundreds of letters on the proposed casino. The vast majority have raised concerns and objections to a gaming facility so close to the state’s largest higher education institution.

See also: Pennsylvania regulator sets date for hearing on Mount Airy Casino Resort licence renewal

Pennsylvania reports record annual gaming revenue

Pennsylvania’s combined revenue from regulated gaming and fantasy contests generated a record $5bn in revenue for the fiscal year 2021/2022 ended June 30. The figure is about 30 per cent higher than the $3.9bn recorded in the previous fiscal year.

The estimated combined tax revenue for the fiscal year passed $2bn for the first time. The previous high was $1.59bn in the previous year.

The PGCB noted that the revenue increase from the previous fiscal year can be attributed to a record high in table games revenue, along with continued growth in the sports wagering, igaming and video gaming terminal (VGT) revenue.

Fiscal year 2021/22 gross revenue from slot machines at the casinos was $2.4bn, a 27.69 per cent increase when compared to the $1.8bn generated in 2020/21. Gross revenue from table games at the casinos was $1bn, a 40.73 per cent increase when compared to the $721m generated in 2020/21.

Revenue from igaming was $1.2bn, a 37.35 per cent increase in revenue when compared to $897m in 2020/21. Revenue from sports wagering was $315m, a 2.22 per cent increase from $308m.

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