Bally’s Corp. and Ira Lubert will jointly open a $120-million casino in Centre County, Pennsylvania, possibly in 2022.
Pennsylvania’s 13th Casino
On Monday, Bally’s Corp. announced that it had signed a framework agreement to develop and open a $120-million casino in Pennsylvania. The project is a joint venture with real estate developer Ira Lubert and will be situated in Nittany Mall in Pennsylvania’s Centre County.
Mr. Lubert was recently awarded a Category 4 casino license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Category 4 casinos, commonly referred to as “mini” or “satellite” casinos, may house between 300 and 750 slot machine terminals. In addition to this, these casinos can host up to 30 tables for house-edge or poker in their first year. Beginning from the second year, this number is increased to 40.
The $120-million casino will be the 13th casino in Pennsylvania, joining giants such as the Hollywood Casino and Live! Casino Pittsburg. It will also be Bally’s first casino in the state. Currently, Bally’s operates 11 other casinos spread across seven states, including in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The company has also stated that they are working on obtaining licenses to operate sports betting, online sports betting and online Bally’s gaming at the new casino.
Partner’s Expect Success
Bally’s CEO George Papanier stated that the company had been eyeing Pennsylvania for some time. According to him, Pennsylvania’s 2017 decision to legalize online gambling and sports betting was what finally sealed the deal.
Pennsylvania has received quite a bit of attention from the gambling and gaming scene last year. Several big-name players launched digital offerings across the state, including BetMGM, NetEnt and Caesars, to name a few.
Mr. Papanier also said that Bally’s was looking forward to working together with Mr. Lubert, who holds “significant ties to the Centre County community.” In a statement, Mr. Lubert shared Mr. Papanier’s confidence in the cooperation and in the ultimate success of their casino venture.
What About COVID?
While the project can potentially be constructed quickly, there is so far no definitive answer as to when it will open due to the ongoing pandemic. Mr. Papanier hopes to launch operations in the first half of 2022 if the health risks have diminished enough.
Despite this uncertainty, Mr. Papanier is confident that COVID-19 and the accompanying safety restrictions will not get in the way of the venture. According to him, Bally’s has successfully navigated the current climate and restrictions in its other casinos and this one will be no different.
Even if the virus is still around, Bally’s will be prepared to operate in a manner that is safe for guests and employees while still generating satisfying revenue for stakeholders, Mr. Papanier stressed.