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Bally’s to open USD 120 M mini-casino near Penn State University



ally’s Corporation announced on Monday that it has signed a framework agreement with real estate and private equity investor Ira Lubert to jointly design, develop, construct and manage a Category 4 licensed casino. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board recently awarded Lubert the right to apply for a Category 4 slot machine license for a casino to be located within a 15-mile radius of Unionville Borough, Centre County, Pennsylvania.

Construction of the casino is expected to begin in the first half of 2021 and will take approximately one year to complete. Subject to receipt of all applicable regulatory approvals, it will house up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games and it will also provide retail sports betting, online sports betting, and online gaming.

“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,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation. “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.”

Papanier continued, “Ira is an experienced real estate developer with significant ties to the greater Centre County community and a proven track record in Pennsylvania gaming. We look forward to working with Ira, not only to build and develop the facility, but to contribute to the surrounding community.”

Bally’s estimates the total cost of the project, including construction, licensing and sports betting/iGaming operations, to be approximately $120 million. Bally’s will acquire a majority equity interest in the partnership, including 100% of the economic interests of all retail sports betting, online sports betting and iGaming activities associated with the project.

Ira Lubert said: “I am excited to have Bally’s as our partner to complement our vision, industry experience and financing capabilities. Together, I believe we will make this transformative project successful for all stakeholders and look forward to the positive impact the redevelopment will have on the community.”

The transaction is subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals, operating certificates, and other customary closing conditions.

Bally’s owns and manages 11 casinos across seven states including Bally’s Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware. Bally’s also owns a horse racetrack, and 13 authorized OTB licenses in Colorado.

Following the completion of pending acquisitions, which include Tropicana Evansville in Evansville, Indiana, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in Rock Island, Illinois and MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada as well as the construction of the new casino near Penn State University, Bally’s will own and manage 15 casinos across 11 states.

Casinos across Pennsylvania reopened on Monday morning after a three-week closure ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf due to COVID-19, Penn Live reports.

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