Details of possible Westmoreland casino to come by week’s end

July 24, 2018

The location and scope of a proposed casino that could land in Westmoreland County is expected to be unveiled by the end of the week.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in Harrisburg said the Maryland-based company that paid $40.1 million for a license to build a smaller-scale casino within a 15-mile radius of Derry Township is required to file a detailed application for the project by the close of business on Friday.

Those documents will reveal the exact location of the casino as well as specifics of the project, according to Doug Harbach, spokesman for the state gaming board.

Stadium Casino LLC, a partnership between Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, which runs Parx Casino in Bensalem, Bucks County, has been tight-lipped regarding its plans for the mini casino that will feature as many as 750 slot machines and up to 40 table games.

Exactly where the casino will be located is still a mystery.

“We’ve had no discussions with anyone,” said Westmoreland County planning director Jason Rigone. “We would have hoped they would have reached out to us but they don’t have to if they don’t need us.”

State officials authorized up to 10 licenses for mini casinos around the Pennsylvania but only five were purchased during the bidding process throughout the winter months. The gaming board suspended the process after no bids were received for the last scheduled auction in April.

Stadium Casino outbid other proposals and paid the $40 million license fee in January for a facility it said it would place within a 15-mile radius centered in Derry. That means the casino could be placed anywhere within an area that stretches through much of the central and eastern portions of Westmoreland County and even in to Indiana County.

Derry officials lobbied the casino developers earlier this year and presented them with a 47-page proposal to locate the planned facility within their borders.

“I think we would have heard something if they were going to put it in here,” said Derry Township Supervisor Dave Slifka. “We had a couple of good places out there on Route 22 with all the infrastructure they needed.”

Rumors have swirled for months that an area at near Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield is under consideration for the casino, but local officials said they’ve had no talks with the gaming company, according to Hempfield Supervisor Rob Ritson.

Stadium Live is the company behind a $600 million casino project in Philadelphia that is expected to open in 2020. The company issued a brief statement in January after winning the mini casino license but declined to discuss specifics of its plans.

Company officials on Monday did not respond to a request for comment.

Little is known about the casino plans. When submitted by week’s end it will be the first application for a mini casino received by the state gaming board.

Harbach said extensions have been granted to give the companies that won mini casino licenses for York and Lawrence counties more time to file their applications. An application for a proposed casino in Cumberland County due at the end of August is also expected to be granted an extension at the gaming board’s next meeting, Harbach said.

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