Penn Regulator Allows State College Mini-Casino Hearings to Proceed

by Oliver
Published 16/12/2022

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted to override objections of a Philadelphia-based candidate, and allow a hearing on the licensing process for the proposed State College mini-casino to proceed as planned. 

The proposed $123m mini-casino is a joint project between Bally’s Corp and SC Gaming LLC – the latter of which is based in Las Vegas and headed by former Penn State administrator, Ira Lubert. 

Earmarked for the mostly vacant Nittany Mall, just four miles from the Penn State Campus, the planned 94,000-square-foot mini-casino would offer 750 slots, 30 gaming tables, and an on-site sportsbook. It would also boast a restaurant, bar, and fast food and beverage outlets. In total, the new development can be expected to provide up to 400 new jobs. 

The objection had been made by Stadium Casino LLC, owner of Live! Casino in south Philadelphia, who demanded ownership discovery relating to SC Gaming’s ownership. However, SC Gaming’s attorney, Stephen Kastenberg, of law firm Ballard Spahr, dismissed the move as “sour grapes from a competitor.” 

After consideration, the PGCB decided that Stadium Casino LLC can act as an intervenor in the licensing process, but only on a limited basis, and that it can not require disclosure of ownership [of SC Gaming). 

Despite this, Stadium Casino’s attorneys insisted that they were just responding to “red flags galore” in pursuing the issue, and noted there was “strong community opposition” to the mini-casino. They also predicted that SC Gaming’s licensure would be tied up for two years in Commonwealth Court lawsuits, and eventually, state Supreme Court Lawsuits.