Usually, local citizens fight when big business come to town. Congestion worries often outweigh the convenience and jobs promised.
In fact, leading up to the first license auction, more than 1,000 municipalities opted out of hosting a mini-casino.
That’s not the case for Westmoreland County, however. Eligible towns in the area are getting ready to market themselves in hopes of having a mini-casino built in their community.
About Stadium Casino LLC
Last month, Stadium Casino LLC secured a mini-casino license for the 15-mile area surrounding Derry Township for $40.1 million.
The Philadelphia-based company is betting big on Derry Township. And they’re doing so before they break ground on its Philadelphia property, Live! Hotel and Casino.
The location they chose is just east of metropolitan Philadelphia. Which indicates an intention of making a name for themselves in the Pennsylvania gaming market.
“We are thrilled on behalf of Stadium Casino LLC to have been awarded a new gaming license in western Pennsylvania in the greater Pittsburgh area and look forward to delivering a world-class gaming and entertainment venue,” Stadium Casino spokesperson Carmen E. Gonzales said in a statement.
“Thousands of new excellent jobs will be created, millions of dollars in new tax revenues will flow to the state, and local government entities and millions of visitors will be attracted, which will benefit both the local community and the other businesses in the area.”
Several townships posturing to host
The designated building area includes several communities all vying for a chance to host the mini-casino. Interested townships include:
“They all want it,” said Hempfield Supervisor Rob Ritson to TribLive.
Recently, the township of Hempfield and their supervisors made courting Stadium Casino LLC official.
They cited the benefits of the mini-casino location in Hempfield in a resolution passed by the township’s supervisors. The benefits included “excellent infrastructure” and a “vibrant regional retail shopping district.”
The township has suffered a 40-percent decline in commercial development in recent years. And there is hope that the mini-casino will reverse the trend.
“I am ecstatic. This means more dollars in local and county coffers. It will bring opportunities, jobs, and economic dollars,” State Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield, said about the potential of the mini-casino being located in Derry.
But Hempfield has some competition for hosting privileges. Derry Township Supervisor, David Slifka, said to expect a similar resolution to the one Hempfield passed soon.
“We have a good area. We feel it could work out for Derry Township and the casino people,” Slifka said.
Greensburg has also publicly thrown their hat into the ring.
“We’re more than willing to have a mini-casino in Greensburg,” said Barbara Ciampini, city planning director.
Financial impact of mini-casinos
The ten new mini-casinos each can house up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games. The local governments are already anticipating more tax revenues that the casino will produce.
Residents are looking forward to more services and jobs as more business follows the mini-casino into the community.
It is still unclear how financially impactful the mini-casino will be to its host town.
There is some speculation another casino may affect the profits of existing casinos. Specifically, Rivers Casino, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin are in the region. It’s only speculation at this point, and a new casino may actually increase the casino-player base as a whole.
The estimated timeline for Stadium Casino LLC to submit their development plan to the state is sometime this summer. Eligible communities will have to wait until then to find out who the host of the new mini-casino is.
The four mini-casino licenses awarded to date have brought in over $120 million, and there are six more auctions on the calendar. You can bet Pennsylvania is looking at mini-casinos to boost revenue to both the state and local communities.