Archive

Spokesman: Westmoreland casino review process could take months | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Spokesman: Westmoreland casino review process could take months

Rich Cholodofsky
61165gtrhempcasino072618
A closing Bon-Ton at Westmoreland Mall, photographed Wednesday, July 25, 2018, is expected to be replaced with a “mini-casino.”

Approval for the proposed mini casino at Westmoreland Mall could take months, a spokesman for the state gaming board said Thursday.

A lengthy review process for the proposal submitted this week to build a gaming facility at the soon-to-be-vacant Bon-Ton department store in Hempfield will feature a thorough inspection of the application and a vetting of the company that said it intends to open the casino that will feature 750 slot machines and 30 table games.

“At sometime in the future, we will hold a public hearing in the township where the facility is located,” said Doug Harbach, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Stadium Casino LLC, a joint venture of two companies working to open a $600 million casino and retail development in Philadelphia, formally filed its application for a facility at the mall that it says will be a mix of gaming and entertainment.

The company has released few details about its plans for the mall casino. It will be a 100,000-square-foot development and employ about 600 workers. It said there was no timetable to open.

Company officials have not responded to requests for additional comments.

Harbach said particulars in the application on file in Harrisburg will be released after it is reviewed for completeness, a process that could take several weeks or months, he said.

Stadium Casino paid $40.1 million in January to purchase one of 10 mini casino licenses available in Pennsylvania. Its project initially identified a 15-mile radius centered in Derry Township for the casino before selecting the mall location.

Westmoreland officials said they have had no prior contact with the casino developers but expect to meet with them soon.

“I’m just happy the casino will be in Westmoreland County,” Commissioner Gina Cerilli said.

“It’s good for jobs, good for tourism, good for our residents and good for our tax base,” Commissioner Ted Kopas said.

In addition to tax revenue expected to be generated from the development, commissioners said the county will receive annual funding based on a percentage of money gambled at the casino. Officials estimate that could amount to between $800,000 to $1 million a year.

“It’s economic development. I see it as a boon. Peripheral things will spring up around it. It will turn Westmoreland County and the area into a destination,” Commissioner Charles Anderson said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.