It took two years for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to award a license to SC Gaming OpCo LLC. The gaming board finally voted unanimously in January, giving SC Gaming OpCo LLC a glimpse of the green light to construct a mini-casino in the Nittany Mall in College Township.
Unfortunately, the casino operator cannot begin construction yet. Not with the ongoing push from several competitor casino organizations that are dedicated to showing SC Gaming does not qualify for the license.
The gaming board awarded the Category 4 license to Ira Lubert and Bally`s Corporation, who formed SC Gaming OpCo LLC. However, the state`s court is not having any of it. It has requested more legal arguments that led to the casino developer getting the license.
This comes after the state court rejected arguments by the casino developer. This means that the SC Gaming and the gaming board have 30 days to respond to the court order, giving more information on the legal arguments involved in granting the operator the license.
SC Gaming Has Big Plans for the Nittany Mall Casino
It seemed like the Nittany Mall casino developer was in the clear after getting the nod to receive the license. If nothing was blocking the development of the casino, Nittany casino would be the fifth Category 4 casino in Pennsylvania. For now, the developer cannot get the license and its construction remains uncertain.
Yet, SC Gaming still has big plans for the casino. The developer told the gaming control board that the new casino would generate new revenue for Centre County. In fact, Lubert focused his statement during the license hearing in January on the benefits the casino would bring.
Once the casino gets the green light, it will have a retail sportsbook, 30 table games, and 750 slot machines. The $127 million Nittany Mall project will create 500 jobs during the construction phase and almost 400 permanent jobs once the casino is operational.
Apart from that, Ira believes that the presence of the Category 4 casino at the Nittany Mall will attract new businesses to the mall and surrounding regions. He further explained that this would create more jobs that will ultimately grow the State college`s economy.
State College Casino Fight Continues
With Lubert spending $10, 000, 01, SC Gaming won the casino bid. Ira partnered with Bally`s Corporation to build the casino. The two have tried proceeding with the construction for two years.
Unfortunately, Stadium Casino LLC has not let the Nittany Mall casino developer breathe as it has been throwing suits right, left, and center since three years ago when it lost the bid to SC Gaming. The competitor filed a suit in July 2021 challenging the licensing procedure and the Nittany Mall casino.
Another competing casino developer, Cordish Companies also challenged Ira`s casino bid. Cordish gave its arguments to the gaming control board explaining that Bally`s was an outside operator and did not qualify to operate a Category 4 casino in Pennsylvania.
A section of the public has also pushed back on the Nittany Mall project. They argue that the casino will lead to gambling issues among Penn State students, crimes, and strain the well-being of the community.
SC Gaming attorney Adrian King respectfully responded to critics saying that the state crossed that bridge back in 2004 when gaming was passed. He noted that the track record of the gaming industry since 2004 demonstrated that none of the issues critics raised were of concern.