Pennsylvania Supreme Court Could Settle Bally’s Dispute Over Mini Casino

Derek Blake pic
Derek Blake


  • The Cordish Companies filed appeal with Penn. Supreme Court over recent PGCB decision
  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded Bally’s proposal for College Township mini-casino
  • Cordish believes Bally’s chief company violated PGCB bidding rules

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s recent decision to award Bally’s and their parent company, SC Gaming, the contract for a Category 4 mini-casino in College Township could land the regulatory group in the crosshairs of Pennsylvania’s highest court.

The Cordish Companies filed an appeal of the PGCB’s decision with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, alleging that SC Gaming violated the board’s bidding rules when submitting their licensing fee for the mini-casino.

Cordish alleges that SC Gaming circumvented bidding regulations by pairing with an outside investment group before submitting their $10 million application fee for the College Township location.

With the appeal, Cordish and their subsidiary, Stadium Casino LLC, hopes to overturn the decision and re-open the bidding for the mini-casino near to the Penn State University campus.

Penn State Community Also Fighting Against Mini-Casino

Along with the lawsuit, residents in State College have also expressed their disinterest in bringing a casino close to the Penn State facilities. Bally’s hopes to place their mini-casino inside a former Macy’s department store at the State College mall.

A petition, spearheaded by a Penn State employee named Andrew Shaffer, collected over 3300 signatures of concerned citizens in the area. Shaffer claims the mini-casino isn’t necessary, citing the ability of players to access online gambling and PA online sports betting on their mobile devices.

Bally’s plan to revamp the Macy’s could create up to 500 construction jobs plus 350 permanent casino jobs for the local economy. Despite those numbers, Shaffer continues to hope to dissuade local lawmakers from approving the casino site.

When asked to join the fight against the mini-casino, Shaffer’s employer, Penn State University, declined to enter the discussion.

“The proposed casino is planned for a property in College Township, but it is otherwise not associated with Penn State University,” said Chairman Matthew Schuyler of the Penn State Governing Board.

“Decisions regarding whether a casino can be opened are made by local municipalities and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and there are mechanisms in place for individuals to share their opposition to or support of this private endeavor with these decision-making entities.”

As it stands, the appeal remains the last hope for the casino project to possibly stall at the development level, leaving one last hope for anti-gaming College Township residents.

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.