Pennsylvania Mini-Casino License Auctioned Off for $10 Million to Private Investor

The state of Pennsylvania could see the arrival of yet another casino as news came out that another license could be granted to a man called Ira Lubert. Mr. Lubert proposed the hefty sum of $10 million to win the bid for the mini-casino permit. The plans involve building the new gambling venue in proximity to the campus of the Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Lubert is a private equity investor as well as a Board Member of the Penn State University. The Gaming Control Board of the Keystone State revealed that Mr. Lubert had prevailed over one other bidder for the mini-casino license.

The bid winner has previous experience in this field as he assisted in the launch of the Valley Forge Casino Resort, which eventually changed owners in 2012. The venue ended up being sold for $280.5 million. According to the state’s gambling regulator, the bid winner was qualified to participate in the bidding because of his partnership in Rivers Casino Pittsburgh.

Mr. Lubert, who is a Philadelphia native, unveiled his plans to build the new gambling venue near Centre County’s Unionville. However, he is yet to determine the exact location of the new mini-casino. One of the potential construction locations is on the spot of an old department store in Nittany Mall. The latter is located around three miles away from the State College municipality in the central part of the Keystone State.

The License Allows for a Maximum of 750 Slots on the Premises

Several empty store premises could serve this purpose, namely the former Macy’s and Sears stores. Each one has sufficient floor space that could accommodate the new mini-casino. Furthermore, the Nittany Mall has witnessed a significant drop in foot traffic lately, even more so after its largest stores closed their doors to customers.

From this perspective, the mall would certainly embrace the addition of a new mini-casino. The new attraction can potentially bring more customers to the facility. This would further the mall’s financial solvency in the long run.

Limitations would be imposed on the new gambling venue. Under this type of gaming license, the casino can offer no more than 750 slot machines on its premises. However, if the bid winner is willing to contribute the additional amount of $2.5 million, this would enable him to operate a full-sized casino with a maximum of 40 table games including roulette, dice games like craps, poker, blackjack, and baccarat.

However, it is also worth mentioning the local market is not big enough to accommodate a full-size gambling facility in terms of profits. Last but not least, it should be pointed out that winning the bid does not necessarily mean Mr. Lubert is going to receive a casino license. Before the permit is granted, he must also provide the regulators with comprehensive plans about the proposed facility. This includes information about the planned amenities and the employment positions the project is expected to create.

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