PGCB approves Bally’s mini-casino in Nittany Mall

Nittany Lion statue at Penn State University
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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) gave the sign-off to a license for the mini-casino project that aims to take over the space previously held by Macy’s in the Nittany Mall. However, with a pending lawsuit, it is entirely possible the courts could put a stop to the proposed project.

Ira Lubert secured the winning mini-casino bid in September 2020. Lubert later formed a partnership with Bally’s to bring a $120 million property to the Centre County area.

Cordish Companies challenged the validity of Lubert’s bid, claiming the involvement of Bally’s brought in an outside operator that is not eligible to run a mini-casino in the state. Cordish presented its arguments to the PGCB as the group considered Lubert’s application.

Lubert owns 3% of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, which qualified him to bid as a current Pennsylvania casino owner.

After vetting the application, including weighing the argument from Cordish, the PGCB unanimously agreed to award a Category 4 license to the project.

If it does move forward, the mall mini-casino would feature 750 slots, 30 table games, and a retail sportsbook. Category 4 casinos are also eligible to apply for an online sports betting license, which could open the door for Bally Bet Sportsbook to come into the state.

Last month the PGCB also reopened the period for qualified gaming entities outside of Pennsylvania to obtain an online casino license, which is an avenue for Bally Bet Casino to get into the state as well.

While the project does have approval from the PGCB, it still faces a pending lawsuit that could shut down the project before it comes to fruition.