The Nittany Lions may hear a roar of a different kind in the coming months.
The town of State College, home of Penn State University, is rumored to be a possible site for one of 10 new casinos in PA. The casinos will be issued licenses should a proposed gaming bill make it through the House, Senate, and receive Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature.
The news broke about earlier this month via WJAC 6, a Pennsylvania news station. Should the casino actually happen, there’s sure to be plenty of bellowing and howling from both sides of the aisle.
“As state lawmakers continue to debate how to raise new revenue for the state budget, expanding gambling in the state of Pennsylvania is a hot topic,” the news station reported. “That’s fueling more talk of a new gambling casino in the State College area.”
What would a new Pennsylvania casino look like?
According to an article from StateCollege.com that quoted several sources, the casino would actually be a satellite of one of the 10 full-fledged properties in the state.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be a full casino property, like the Mohegan Sun or Parx. Rather, it would be a smaller property featuring a limited number of slots and table games.
Why are new casino satellites needed in PA?
The reasoning behind the proposed gambling expansion is fairly straightforward: Lawmakers are looking for revenue streams to make up for a $1 billion shortfall in this year’s budget.
The casinos wouldn’t be built in time to steady this year’s bottom line. But proponents believe they’ll play an important role in the future.
“I think a lot of the fears that many of us had when gaming first came into place have not come true,” said Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman.
“The casinos have operated as good corporate citizens, and as a form of entertainment it has not caused a lot of the social issues that many of us were concerned about. So, as we look to possibly expand that entertainment to other areas of the state, I’m trying to be objective and see if there’s ways that it can be done a responsible manner that can help some communities.”
When will the PA casino/gambling bill pass?
As much as the state’s gambling backers would love to see the Senate’s current bill breeze through the House, there’s a good chance that’s not going to happen.
The gambling bill is tied into the state’s budget. Lawmakers still cannot agree on how to fund the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Until they do, the gaming expansion package can’t go anywhere.
Some lawmakers believe tax increases are a better solution than casinos, an endeavor that would require the state to contribute funds.