Now the home of Penn State University—State College, Pa.—looks to roll the same dice in the center of the state.
Former Penn State trustee and one-time lead partner of the Valley Forge Casino Resort Ira Lubert won a license to operate a Category 4 “mini-casino” in Centre County and plans to put it in the vacated Macy’s location at the Nittany Mall in State College. Bally’s Corporation signed an agreement with Lubert in January to develop and run the gambling operation.
This week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board held a hearing on the proposal in Centre County that won praise from most locals in attendance.
“This proposed casino will certainly be a major contributor to our recovery as a hospitality industry and as a community,” John Delozier, managing partner for Nittany Hotel Group, said at the meeting, according to a report on StateCollege.com
The casino is proposed to offer 750 slot machines, 30 table games, and sports betting along with a restaurant and bar and a multi-outlet quick-serve food and beverage area. A 5,000-sq.-ft. restaurant will be sports themed and will have space for live entertainment.
Developers presented a study saying that, in the short-term, the casino would create 350 full-time mobs and 170 direct mobs and have a one-time economic impact of $43.6 million for College Township and $61.4 million for Centre County.
“As we’ve all seen, brick-and-mortar retail shopping has taken its lumps in recent years as internet-driven retail commerce has skyrocketed,” Lubert told those in attendance at the hearing. “I believe the Category 4 casino I intend to construct at the Nittany Mall will reinvigorate the property and draw many new businesses to the mall itself and the surrounding area.”