Mini-Casino At The Nittany Mall? Municipalities Decide Whether To Opt Out Of Possible Mini-Casinos

Dec 19, 2017

Municipalities in Pennsylvania have until the end of the year to opt out of having mini-casinos in their borders.
Credit AP

If the State College area gets a mini-casino, one of the only places it could end up is at the Nittany Mall.

Ferguson, Harris and Patton townships voted to opt out of having mini-casinos, as did State College. But College Township did not.

“The potential for redevelopment of that area in College Township was significant if something like that were to happen,” said Township Manager Adam Brumbaugh.

He said the township’s zoning ordinances mean there are very few places a casino could go.

Municipalities in Pennsylvania have until the end of the year to opt out of having a mini-casino in their borders. While more than 400 municipalities have voted to ban them, some think it’s worth considering.

Host municipalities and counties each get 1 percent of revenues from gaming tables and 2 percent of revenues from slot machines.

But many have opted out. That includes Sandy Township in Clearfield County. Township manager Dave Monella said supervisors want more control.

“They would prefer to be able to look at each and every case individually, and say ‘Is this going to be good to have something like that in our township?’” Monella said.

Lock Haven also opted out. That's a decision Mayor and Council President William E. Baney III disagrees with.

“We don’t even know that we were going to be selected. And, if we were selected, that creates jobs," Baney said. "It’s a trickle-down effect from the jobs to the monies that we would receive.”

Municipalities that bar them do have one chance to change their minds.

The state is allowing 10 of the mini-casinos. Bids will be opened for the first one Jan. 10.