Pennsylvania Gaming Companies Use Abandoned Mall Superstores for New Casinos

Derek Blake pic
Derek Blake
Casino News


  • Bally’s spent $35 million restoring their new mini-casino location at Nittany Mall
  • Three mini-casinos in Pennsylvania reside in former superstores
  • Mini-casinos also beat holiday revenue dip due to boosted foot traffic at malls

As the Pennsylvania gaming market expands, PA casinos looking to get creative and cut down on their operation costs have turned to malls to house their new locations. Companies such as Bally’s, Live! Casino, and Hollywood Casino have recently utilized abandoned superstores in the state’s malls to place their new Category 4 mini-casinos.

The recent rush of convenience casinos are a win-win for operators and customers because of the considerable construction savings and proximity to other stores and services that bring adults to the mall.

The abandoned superstores provide the square footage needed to house a mini-casino and a significant reduction in start-up costs helping companies significantly reduce their overhead. The newest mini-casino heading to a mall comes courtesy of Bally’s. Located at a former Macy’s in the Nittany Mall in College Township, Bally’s spent $35 million to revamp the 94,000 square feet space to accommodate new customers.

With the other two new mini-casinos, the Hollywood Casino in York took the place of an old Sears store, while the Parx Casino in Shippensburg replaced a Lowe’s home improvement superstore to house their new casino.

Mini-Casinos in Malls Offer Creative Ways to Entertain Families, Boost Revenue

Since the mall is a popular place for families, the mall-based casino has made alterations to their floor plan to accommodate both adults and children. At the Live! Casino in Pittsburgh, the company utilized the two floor layout to place the casino along the bottom floor, while making the top floor restaurants and other family-friendly smoke-free activities that patrons under 21 years of age can enjoy.

Joseph Weinert, executive vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "The malls across America in general are having a tougher time. Casinos can bring foot traffic and help restore some of the volume to retail shops, restaurants, and other establishments within the mall.”

Also with guaranteed foot traffic due to a steady stream of shoppers, casinos have found the mall locations boost business during routinely low revenue periods. During the Christmas season, revenue for standalone gaming locations usually dip due to customers focusing on running errands such as shopping for gifts, but with the mall-based mini-casinos, players can burn an hour or two at the PA slots and pick up a few necessities for the holidays.

Derek Blake is a freelance writer that has covered the expansion of legal sports betting in America and the regional casino business for several well-known industry websites. During his writing career, he has written profiles on dozens of athletes and focused on the collision of sports and politics.