Pennsylvania Judge Gives Bally’s State College Casino Project’s Appeal a Green Light

Bally's State College casino project has faced opposition from individuals and organizations of late. A Pennsylvania judge turned down business entities' stay request regarding the gaming project on Wednesday. Yet, another casino operator is challenging the project's go-ahead to continue.

Ira Lubert, a former Penn State trustee, is advocating for Bally's casino to get approved even though it will be a short distance from State College, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge Emerita Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter stated in her memorandum and order that she had dismissed SC Gaming OpCo, LLC's request.

Lubert is the entity's controller. The judge added that The Cordish Companies' appeal has merit. Cordish operates casinos, entertainment, and hospitality complexes. It operates in the state as Stadium Casino RE, LLC.

The gaming operator's attorneys accuse Lubert of contravening state bidding regulations for a Category 4 license that SC Gaming OpCo received. The former trustee and other development partners have refuted the allegations and urged the Commonwealth Court to reject Cordish's appeal. Besides, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reviewed and approved the casino project in January 2023.

More Details About the Case

Cordish Companies has two brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. They include Live! Casino Pittsburgh in Westmoreland and Live! Casino Hotel Philadelphia. But, it is determined to launch the third gaming venue in Pennsylvania with a Category 4 license to collaborate with Live! Pittsburgh.

The gaming operator lost the bid to Lubert in Pennsylvania's September 2020 auction round. The trustee decided to develop his mini-casino in College Township near Penn State University. He disclosed his development, operating, and ownership collaboration with a few individual entrepreneurs and Bally's Corporation.

Lubert made this announcement shortly after winning the license bid. They have proposed a $123 million project to the PGCB including the license fee. The group will transform Nittany Mall's former Macy's department store into a Bally's gaming site.

Cordish Companies' management believes that Lubert's group formed an ownership structure before the September 2020 auction. Still, companies with active Pennsylvania slot licenses and main investors with shares in a slot concession were eligible for Category 4 satellites at that time.

The gaming company adds that Lubert didn't raise the $10,000,101 license fee he paid in the auction. Instead, he violated Pennsylvania's 2017 gaming expansion regulation.

College Township's local community opposes the establishment of a casino near Penn State University. Even so, the PGCB revealed that it got 773 written comments about the gaming project, and 101 of them supported it.

Cordish Companies' Growth

Cordish refers to itself as the United States' biggest and most successful mixed-use districts developer as it is involved with commercial real estate, private and residential equity, entertainment districts, and coworking spaces. It informed the Louisiana Gaming Control Board several days ago that it has invested over $1 billion in ongoing gaming projects. The operator recently bought Bossier City's Diamond Jacks riverboat casino.


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