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Stadium Casino Narrowing Down Satellite Casino Host Contenders

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Westmoreland County, your time is coming.

The northwest Pennsylvania county will be the site of a satellite casino belonging to Stadium Gaming LLC, the development group who is in the early stages of building a casino in Philadelphia and who won a mini-casino license this past January.

Per the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB) regulations, Stadium Casino has until June to reveal the exact location of their little casino, a location that will fall within a 15-mile radius of Derry Township.

Potential sites create suspense

There are more than a dozen towns and cities within 15 miles of Derry Township, including Unity, Greensburg, and Hempfield.

PA news station WPXI reported that Derry Township has already submitted a proposal for having a casino in their town.

Basically, towns are courting Stadium Casino in an effort to win a competition akin to The Bachelor. In the end, the casino chooses one winner and scores of dejected runners-up are left to weep in the proverbial limo.

While tears may not be part of the aftermath of the developer’s upcoming decision, there certainly will be crushed dreams.

Being the host of a new casino is a tremendous opportunity. It increases vehicle traffic, which results in an influx of revenue for gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and local businesses.

Potential host cities are well aware of the potential economic benefit. Derry, Greensburg, Hempfield, Unity, and Salem have all expressed interest.

City leaders transparent in their desire for satellite

Penn Live published an article this past February that included quotes from leaders in each of these towns:

  • Hempfield Supervisor Rob Ritson, about competing towns: “They all want it.”
  • Greensburg City Planning Director Barbara Ciampini: “We’re more than willing to have a mini-casino in Greensburg.”
  • Derry Township Supervisor David Slifka: “We have a good area. We feel it could work out for Derry Township and the casino people.”

It is unclear exactly how Stadium chooses their location. It’s likely that location, infrastructure, and other factors will come into play. For example, Greensburg is 20 minutes from Interstate 70. It sprawls across Pennsylvania routes 119 and 30 and is minutes away from PA Route 66.

For Westmoreland County, though, the exact location of the casino won’t matter, per se. The county hopes to earn between $700,000 and $1 million each year from the satellite, Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cervelli told PA news station WPXI.

Penn National also revealing location in June

Stadium Casino will be the second group announcing their satellite location. Penn National will be the first. They snagged the first satellite license auctioned by the state in mid-January. The casino will be somewhere in York County.

Right now, the casino is allegedly looking at three parcels in Hellam Township off Route 30.

That land includes the Mifflin House, which was used as a safe house for the Underground Railroad. The location is a historic site. Penn National would preserve the building if they were to develop the land parcels.

Their interest in the area, as well as their intention to preserve the home, was enough to get township supervisors to unanimously decide to opt-in to allowing a mini-casino after they had initially opted out.

Interestingly, the township’s superiors denied a 2017 request from an equity firm to obtain a demolition permit that would allow them to tear down the Mifflin House and develop the land.

J.R. Duren

About

J.R. Duren is a freelance writer and author, and has won the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism award three times. He contributes to numerous publications, including Snooth, the Villages Daily Sun, Bespoke Post, and Barcelona Metropolitan.