College Township Council Approves Nittany Mall Casino Development Plan

Hand Holding a $100 Bill Over a Laptop And Casino Games
The land development plan for the proposed casino at the former Macy’s property at the Nittany Mall has been approved by the College Township Council.

The project is still awaiting the approval of its Category 4 casino license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board before the it can move ahead. The Board held a public input meeting last month and it will hold another similar discussion on a future date where the developer will be given the opportunity to present the plans for the board to vote and decide.

The Nittany Casino

Dubbed as the Nittany Casino in the plans, the project is expected to have 750 slot machines and 30 table games with sports betting also being eyed. A restaurant, bar, mini-outlet, and a quick serve food and beverage area are also in the works in the said casino project.

According to Chad Stafford of project engineer PenTerra, there will be few major renovations to be done for the exterior of the 94,000 square foot facility. However, a sally port will be added on the building’s Benner Pike side while a large canopy will be placed on top of the main entrance on the East College Avenue side.

New License in Centre County

Last September, Penn State trustee Ira Lubert won an auction for a Category 4 gaming license to be situated at Centre County with a $10M bid. In January, Bally’s Corporation announced that it had entered into an agreement with Lubert to develop the $123M mini-casino. Lubert’s group submitted an application that named the former Macy’s at the Nittany Mall as its targeted location.

According to Lubert, a casino at the Nittany Mall would reinvigorate the property and draw many new businesses to the mall itself and the surrounding area. That in turn will create jobs for local residents and hellp drive the region’s economy forward while also providing a new entertainment venue that the community can enjoy.

Centre County Casino Project to Have Major Economic Impact

Wheel Of Fortune Slot
Updated projections on the economic impact of the planned Pennsylvania casino at Centre County reveal eye opening figures.

Among the highlights are the first year revenue projection of $91M and more than $100M one year after that. The projections also predict an annual new tax revenue of $60,000 for Centre County plus 500 permanent jobs in College Township, where the casino will operate for at least a decade.

Located At The Former Macy’s Site

The new Pennsylvania casino would be built on the former Macy’s at the Nittany Mall, which is an ideal location because of the ample free parking space on that side of the mall. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the casino opening being targeted for next year.

As a mini-casino with a Category 4 license, the planned Pennsylvania casino is expected to have 300-750 slot machines. For an extra fee of $2.5M, the licensee can apply to add up to 30 gaming tables, with the option to add another 10 after one year of operations. Sports betting is also an option but at another additional cost of $10M in licensing fees.

$120M Mini-Casino Project

Last January, Bally’s Corporation announced that it had signed and agreement with Penn State alumnus Ira Lubert to jointly design, develop, construct, and manage a $120M mini-casino project in Centre County. Under the deal, Bally’s will acquire a major interest in the partnership, including 100% interest in retail sports betting, online sports betting, and iGaming activities.

If approved, the casino will breathe some life back to the Nittany Mall which has lost several of its top stores in recent years. Macy’s, Sears, JC Penney, and Bon-Ton have all left Centre County and right now, there is only one anchor store left in the mall-Dunham Sports. With these closures, hundreds of jobs in the area have been lost.