Wife of Jerry Sandusky Opposed to Penn State Casino Over Fears of Safety And Temptation

Written By Katie Kohler on September 20, 2021
Dottie Sandusky against mini casino

Dottie Sandusky, the wife of convicted sex offender and former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is speaking up. She fears for the safety of the community because of the planned mini-casino near Penn State.

Dottie Sandusky wrote an email to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board which states she feels the casino will bring “more drugs and more crime.”

She also penned an op-ed in the Centre Daily Times ripping the casino.

Casino at Nittany Mall

Penn State University alum and former trustee Ira Lubert won the bid with a $10 million offer for Pennsylvania’s fifth (and final) Category 4 mini-casino license auction. Lubert paired with the Bally’s Corporation to turn the former Macy’s at the Nittany Mall into a casino. The proposed casino at Nittany Mall includes up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games, a sportsbook, a restaurant and bar, and entertainment space.

In mid- August, the PGCB held an input hearing about the proposed mini-casino which was met with mostly public support.

Casino “tempting to college students”

Before the meeting about the proposed mini-casino near State College, the PGCB received 49 emails about the project. Sandusky was one of the 27 emails opposed.

Sandusky’s email about the proposed casino said:

“I love our community. I feel bringing a casino into our community would bring with it more drugs and more crime. The mall used to be a place you could visit with your family but by adding this it would change the complexion of the mall. I find it very tempting to the college students to be so close.”

Sandusky says casino creates a “terrifying equation”

On Sept. 16, the Centre Daily Times published an op-ed written by Sandusky, Tom Frey and Shannon Frey.

Do we really want a casino in the mall? It’s a crap shoot, with a guaranteed winner, who’s not us.

This casino is a means for real estate investors to grow their own assets at the community’s expense. Bid on a casino; develop the land, structure, and surrounding space; call it “family entertainment,” and then sell it for a mega-profit. Who wins? Not the community. Not us.

Let’s also remember the two gun suppliers within shouting distance of the space. Alcohol, money, loss, desperation, frustration, anger … and guns: A terrifying equation.

We live among such creative, highly skilled, and highly innovative entrepreneurs and forward thinkers, not to mention investors who could actually have our own community’s well-being in mind, to help us re-think this space, developing it into a truly vibrant venue for us all. We need more positive certainty (a win-win) and much less of a gamble, and far less of a risk to all of us.

Some of Sandusky’s crimes occurred at his home

At Penn State, Jerry Sandusky was an assistant football coach under Joe Paterno from 1969 to 1999. Sandusky is currently serving a 30-60 year prison term following his conviction in 2012 for the sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year time span. One of the testimonies from the trial came from an eighteen-year-old known as Victim 1. When he was about thirteen-years-old, Sandusky groped him and then performed oral sex on him when he stayed over at his house.

Dottie Sandusky was never charged with any wrongdoing. She continues to maintain her husband is innocent, and denies allegations she ignored the boy’s cries for help.

In 2015, a Pennsylvania court ruled that the state restore the pension of Jerry Sandusky. It amounts to $4,900 per month.

Due to Penn State’s handling of the allegations against Sandusky, the NCAA hit Penn State with huge sanctions. It included vacating wins from 1998-2011 and a $60 million fine. The NCAA rolled back the sanctions in January 2015 after being sued.

Lead image by Gene J. Puskar/AP

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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