Greensburg-area residents wanting to gamble will soon no longer have to make the 40 or 50-mile drive to do so after on Wednesday Stadium Casino LLC was awarded a Category 4 satellite casino license by the state Gaming Control Board to build a new mini-casino at Westmoreland Mall in Western Pennsylvania.
Expected to open in 2020, Live! Casino Pittsburgh will call the 42-year-old shopping complex located in Hempfield Township, about a 45-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh, home.
According to the Tribune-Review…
…the effort by Stadium Casino LLC, owned by the Maryland-based The Cordish Companies, will replace the Bon-Ton department store that shut its doors in August last year.
Once renovated, the 100,000 sq ft space will have 30 table games and 750 slot machines, as presented at the gaming board meeting on Wednesday.
Additionally, the news agency reports that during the hearing casino officials said that the second floor of the satellite casino will house a restaurant and bar area, along with an events center and an entryway connected to the on-site parking garage.
The hearing on Wednesday follows a public meeting in December where Cordish officials said that the proposed plans for the casino could result in some 500 mostly full-time jobs. Trib Live further reports that while a construction timeline has yet to be revealed, demolition inside the store began in April.
Win for Westmoreland County:
According to the report, the project is expected to generate annual revenue of $188 million for Westmoreland County, with $148 million additionally from construction, which is anticipated to see 960 direct and indirect construction jobs.
Managing partner for Cordish, Joe Weinberg, said in a statement…
“We’re very excited and honored to have been awarded the license by the Gaming Control Board and thank them for their consideration. We look forward to working with state and local officials, and the entire community, as we move forward with development of a true world-class destination that will attract people from throughout the region for a unique gaming and entertainment experience.”
The region currently supports three casinos including:
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
- Meadows Racetrack & Casino in North Strabane Township, located about 50 miles from the planned mini-casino and owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming.
- Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, which is nearly 40 miles away
Philly property awarded renewal:
Stadium is also developing the much larger Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia, and during Wednesday’s meeting was also awarded a Category 2 license renewal for its construction. The company also operates Live! Casino & Hotel in Arundel Mills Maryland and the Xfinity Live entertainment complex in Philadelphia.
In January 2018, Stadium Casino won the second round of bidding to open a mini-casino in Pennsylvania, with the Baltimore firm tendering a winning bid of $40.1 million. As a condition of the sale, the operator was required to open its new gambling venue inside Westmoreland County and within a 15-mile radius of the region’s Derry Township.
The Gaming Expansion Act 42 enacted by Governor Wolf in 2017, laid the groundwork for satellite casinos in the northeastern U.S. state, as well as for online and mobile gambling and daily fantasy sports and sports gambling. The legislation also authorized truck stops in the state to offer gaming terminals and airports to add gaming lounges.
Two large liquidators, Great American Group LLC of Los Angeles and Tiger Capital Group LLC of New York, acquired the underperforming online retailer [The Bon-Ton Stores Inc] and former department store chain’s real estate assets, which included 22 properties and 201 leased locations, in a bankruptcy court auction on April 18, 2018.
According to a March report from the Tribune-Review, more than 10 percent of the mall’s nearly 100 retail spaces, including the former Bon-Ton location, were vacant at the time. And that figure did not take into account pending closures.
The shopping complex, one of the largest in the western part of the state, could see spillover foot traffic from the coming casino, which would be another plus considering that the vacancy rates at malls nationwide is at 10.2 percent and continue to rise, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc. cited in an April Reuters report.