Pennsylvania lawmakers are currently working to significantly expand the state’s casino industry. Part of that plan is to open “mini-casinos” in different cities. According to new reports, we may see a new casino near Penn State open its doors next year.
It’s interesting news to hear. There are clearly many companies still interested in opening casinos here. Today, we’re going to talk about the details of this proposed mini-casino.
Let’s get into it!
Pennsylvania’s Casino Industry is Slowly Coming Back to Life
Pennsylvania’s leaders ordered all of the state’s casinos to shut down back in March. It was a complete turn from where the state was heading. Prior to the shutdowns, Pennsylvania had been working hard to expand its gambling industry.
Revenue from this industry plummeted for months. According to a new report from The Allegheny Institute, casinos in the state lost out on an incredible $968.8 million. That is the biggest revenue drop since the state legalized Class III casinos.
Online gambling regulations slightly helped to alleviate this revenue loss. Online casino revenue jumped from $13.9 million in January of this year to $50 million in June. That’s an astounding 258.6% increase.
Casinos in Pennsylvania slowly started to open their doors again in June. Thousands of residents in the state were finally able to work again. Since that time, revenue from this industry has been slowly increasing.
Things are far from normal. It may be more than a year before casino revenue gets back to the levels it was in 2019. That isn’t stopping the state from working to expand this industry, though. Many new mini-casinos are scheduled to open here over the next few years.
It now appears that a location for the state’s next mini-casino has been chosen.
Ira Lubert Plans to Open a New Casino Near Penn State
Pennsylvania continues to search for individuals and companies that will operate new mini-casinos. This week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board held an auction for a license to run one of these venues. Ira Lubert won the bid at $10 million and immediately offered some insight into where this gaming venue will be located.
Many were surprised to hear that Ira Lubert, an investor with a successful history of casino operations in the state, plans to open the new casino near Penn State. The most probable venue for this casino is the Nittany Mall in College Township, just minutes away from Penn State’s flagship campus.
This is not a done deal, though. Lubert must officially file a casino application within six months to become eligible to open this venue. He’ll also need to provide the state with details on the building plan, amenities, and employment projections.
Five mini-casino licenses have already been awarded this year. None have opened yet. Only the Live! Casino Pittsburgh is scheduled to open this year. Many feel that 2021 will be a big year for this newly-emerging industry.
Some feel that Pennsylvania will grow to become the next major gambling destination on the East Coast. As we just mentioned, five new mini-casinos are scheduled to open here over the next couple of years. These venues can hold up to 750 slot machines and 40 table games.
We’re likely to hear more about Lubert’s proposed casino over the next few weeks. Some feel there will be major opposition to opening a casino so close to a college campus. Make sure to stay tuned for updates!
Online Casino Gambling and Sports Betting Continues to Grow in Pennsylvania
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have been looking at sports betting regulation for years. In 2017, the state approved a bill to regulate this industry, yet PASPA prevented the state from formally legalizing it. PASPA was removed in 2018 and sports betting was formally made legal in Pennsylvania immediately after.
2017 marked a major change in the state’s gambling laws. This year, lawmakers also approved a measure to legalize online casino gambling. These two industries have been surging throughout 2020.
Online sports betting revenue has been gradually increasing for years. The same can be said for internet casino revenue. Pennsylvania’s expanded gambling laws have actually pushed other nearby states to look at updating their regulations, as well.
The first legal sports wager was placed in New York in mid-2019. Many lawmakers in New York have been considering allowing online casino gambling, as well. These calls to expand gambling laws have intensified now that the state is desperate for additional forms of revenue.
Pennsylvania may even decide to allow more forms of gambling. Additional casinos are set to open here over the next few years, including the new casino near Penn State. It will be interesting to see how successful these venues become.
Do you think Ira Lubert will be allowed to open this mini-casino near Penn State’s flagship campus? Let us know in the comments section below!