Bally’s Corporation announced on Monday that it has entered into an agreement with former Penn State University trustee Ira Lubert for the design, development, construction, and operation of a Category 4 licensed Pennsylvania casino.
The said casino will have up to 750 slot machines and feature 30 table games, and it will be built near the “Nittany Mall” which is located about four miles from the Penn State campus. According to Bally’s the Pennsylvania casino will also have a retail sports betting shop, online sports betting, and online gaming, subject to separate licenses.
Per Bally’s Chief Executive Officer George Papanier:
“Expanding our rapidly growing, national footprint into the attractive Pennsylvania gaming market represents yet another major milestone for Bally’s and a great way to cap off a truly extraordinary year. Regional, land-based casinos remain the cornerstone of our portfolio diversification strategy, providing the necessary support for the growth, development and success of our future sports betting and iGaming initiatives. We look forward to combining our own proven track record of greenfield development with Ira Lubert’s local knowledge and expertise to bring Bally’s first-in-class gaming experience and amenities to customers and sports fans across Pennsylvania.”
Bally’s Will Acquire Majority Interest
Under the agreement, Bally’s will acquire a majority interest in the partnership, including 10% of the economic interests of all retail sports betting, online sports betting, and iGaming operations related to the project. Including construction and licensing costs, Bally’s estimates the cost of the Pennsylvania casino to be $120M.
According to Bally’s, construction will start during the first half of 2021 and will take approximately one year to finish. Once completed, it will be Bally’s first casino in Pennsylvania. The company owns or manages 11 gambling properties across seven states and will add three more in new states, including the Pennsylvania project.
About Ira Lubert
Lubert graduated from Penn State in 1973. The well-known real estate and property equity investor has been part of casino developments in Pittsburgh and Valley Forge. He served as chair of the Penn State Board of Trustees in 2016 and of the six-man committee that hired Bill O’Brien as the school’s football coach in 2012.
The chairman and co-founder of Lubert-Adler was recently awarded by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board the right to apply for a Category 4 slot machine license for a casino to be constructed within a 15-mile radius of Unionville Borough, Center County, Pennsylvania. Lubert has a minority founding investment in Rivers Casino.