Bally’s Casino Hits Another Legal Snag For Nittany Mall Location

Written By Corey Sharp on February 17, 2023
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Stadium Casino RE, LLC may have gotten a leg-up on its fight against SC Gaming in regards to the Bally’s Casino license in State College. A court order has been issued against SC Gaming and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Last month, SC Gaming OpCo and Bally’s received a Category 4 license from the PGCB to open its Nittany Mall Casino in Centre Valley.

Stadium Casino lost to Ira Lubert’s SC Gaming bid in July 2020 and has fought the ruling ever since.

Commonwealth court rules in favor of Stadium Casino

The latest court order from the Commonwealth, a three-judge panel, has raised several issues as “ripe.” In other words, Stadium Casino’s arguments have matured into a controversy that warrants further review.

The court is ordering SC Gaming and the PGCB to respond within 30 days.

The ongoing legal battle could take up to several years. Construction of the Nittany Mall Casino will also take up to a year.

Recap of ongoing Bally’s Casino legal battle in PA

Ira Lubert’s winning bid of the Nittany Mall Casino has been in question since 2020.

The legal battles have been ongoing since July 2021. Stadium Casino filed a suit challenging the producers of Lubert’s bid and application process.

In December, the PGCB granted Stadium Casino the right to intervene in January’s hearing.

Then in January, the PGCB gave Lubert and SC Gaming the license for the new PA mini-casino, despite Stadium Casino’s intervention.

Attorney Mark Aronchick, representing Stadium Casino, raised issues with Lubert’s bid and application.

“The problem is not what happened at the bid. The problem is what happened after the bid, before the application,” Aronchick told the board in December. “Mr. Lubert, after the bid, but before the application entered into all kinds of arrangements, several arrangements with other entities and people that create our contention that this has to be looked at closely – ownership interests in this facility. And they are entities or people who are not licensed and don’t operate in Pennsylvania. There’s no statutory authority to consider that application.”

Cyrus Pirtri, Chief Enforcement Counsel with the Office of Enforcement Counsel (OEC), said “there is nothing unsuitable about the application,” in January’s PGCB meeting.

The newest court order perhaps says otherwise.

Status of Bally’s online casino PA

Bally’s and Lubert’s partnership is called into question because Bally’s is not licensed in PA yet.

Earlier this year, the PGCB reopened the petition period for qualified gaming entity (QGE) applications in the state. As of now, Bally Casino is the only operator on the application list.

With delays expected with the Nittany Mall Casino, Bally’s retail location, it makes the launch of its online casino much more important.

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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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