Sbarro, Chick-fil-A, Hot Topic … and a mini-casino.
Believe it or not, this week Stadium Casino, a joint venture between Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies, announced that their mini-casino will be located inside Westmoreland Mall, a 1.2 million-square-foot behemoth of a retail complex in Greensburg, PA.
According to a press release from Stadium, the company sees the opportunity as an exciting one for everyone involved. That includes CBL Properties, the company who owns the mall.
“The property is ideally situated in the Region, with excellent infrastructure and road networks in place. The synergy of this new gaming and entertainment facility with the existing retail and dining amenities in the property and surrounding area will be tremendous,” Stadium partner Joe Weinberg said in the release.
Mini-casino will bring jobs, rejuvenation to Westmoreland County
Whether communities love them or hate them, casinos of any size bring jobs and buzz to the area in which they emerge.
State Senator Kim Ward is well aware of this. She offered up the following quote in the aforementioned press release:
“I’ve worked for nine years to expand gaming to allow ancillary casinos, so it’s gratifying to see this finally coming to fruition. This project will bring a sizeable increase in our tax base, a significant number of full-time jobs, and will help revitalize the Westmoreland Mall complex.”
The press release noted that the mini-casino should create 600 jobs and “millions in revenue.”It’s a welcomed spark considering the casino will be filling the space left by soon-to-be-closed department store Bon-Ton.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will have to review the property plans before a construction timeline can be set forth.
Community voices split on satellite benefits
An article from Pittsburgh’s WTAE shows that opinions from the community can be a bit fragmented.
Some love the idea of a casino. However, others would rather see something different take up the Bon-Ton space. Here are few quotes from Westmoreland County residents about the forthcoming satellite casino:
- “I think it’s a good thing for gamblers. I don’t know that it’s a good thing for the community.”
- “I think whenever something new comes, it can cause a little apprehension. But if you look statewide at how these casinos are doing, they’re not crime-ridden.” (Senator Ward)
- “I would love to see a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods go into a space like that, as opposed to a casino.”
These types of opinions are likely to surface as the state’s other four satellite casino license holders reveal the locations of their mini-casinos.
Five total satellites in the works
At the time of publishing, the following casinos have a satellite license:
- Parx (Cumberland County)
- Mount Airy (Lawrence County)
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National (Lancaster County, York County)
PGCB regulations state that these satellite properties can house a maximum of 750 slot machines and 30 table games. There will be a 50 percent tax on slots revenue that will go to the state.
Casinos will also pay an additional four percent on slots revenue. The local township and local county will split that revenue. The same 50-50 split applies to an additional two percent tax on table games.