Bally’s Corporation has signed a framework agreement with real estate and private equity investor Ira Lubert to jointly design, develop, construct and manage a Category 4 licensed casino in Pennsylvania

The deal has been struck following the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s recent decision to grant Lubert the right to apply for a Category 4 slot machine license for a casino to be located within a 15-mile radius of Unionville Borough, Centre County.

Construction of the casino is scheduled to begin during the first half of 2021 and is expected to take approximately one year to complete. Subject to receipt of all applicable regulatory approvals, it will offer retail and online sports betting and gaming and house up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games. 

George Papanier, President and CEO of Bally’s Corporation, said: “Expanding our rapidly growing, national footprint into the attractive Pennsylvania gaming market represents yet another major milestone for Bally’s and a great way to cap off a truly extraordinary year. 

“Regional, land-based casinos remain the cornerstone of our portfolio diversification strategy, providing the necessary support for the growth, development and success of our future sports betting and igaming initiatives. We look forward to combining our own proven track record of greenfield development with Ira Lubert’s local knowledge and expertise to bring Bally’s first-in-class gaming experience and amenities to customers and sports fans across Pennsylvania.”

He added: “Ira is an experienced real estate developer with significant ties to the greater Centre County community and a proven track record in Pennsylvania gaming. We look forward to working with Ira, not only to build and develop the facility, but to contribute to the surrounding community.”

According to Bally’s estimates the total cost of the project, including construction, licensing and sports betting/igaming operations, will be circa $120m. The casino firm will acquire a majority equity interest in the partnership, including 100% of the economic interests of all retail sports betting, online sports betting and igaming activities associated with the project.

Lubert commented: “I am excited to have Bally’s as our partner to complement our vision, industry experience and financing capabilities. Together, I believe we will make this transformative project successful for all stakeholders and look forward to the positive impact the redevelopment will have on the community.”