Opponents to Penn State Casino Voice Concern

Penn State Casino

Those opposed to the Penn State Casino coming to the Nittany Mall are voicing their concern.

A Bally’s branded casino is set to come to the Nittany Mall in Pennsylvania, a satellite venue with an assortment of table games and slot machines. The mall is located near the Penn State University campus, and it is being considered an issue by individuals in the region. Penn State alumni and former trustee Ira Lubert is the man behind the casino project, and he has come under fire from opponents who say the venue will negatively affect the area.

Opposition During Public Comments

Recently, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has been in charge of taking public comments on the casino plans. Most emails that have been received by the board are in opposition to the project. Those who do not wish to see a casino in the area say that it will bring crime and illegal drug use to the area along with other addictions.

The opposition also says that the $123 million development will prey on those who are vulnerable and those who are unable to afford losing money via gambling. The casino plan was proposed after Lubert won an auction in September of last year, paying $10 million for the satellite license.

Lubert decided to partner with Bally’s Corporation to create the casino at the former Macy’s store in the mall. The 94,000 square foot space will offer 30 table games, as many as 750 slots and a sports betting facility.

Residents are very concerned over the plan to bring a casino to the local mall with many providing public comments to the board. Many feel that that state college will be affected negatively by the gambling venue. Residents feel it would damage the reputation of the school and give a bad impression to parents of prospective students.

Some even went so far as to say that parents do not want to see their kids going to the casino instead of going to class. It was pointed out that the mall has seen better days and the casino will not bring in new family-friendly businesses to the area.

What About Supporters?

While it seems the majority of the comments on the plan are against, there are some people who support the idea and they say that it will be a positive change to the area. Casinos have proven to have a positive effect in many ways, such as boosting the economy, development in the area, as well as cultural elements.

For those who are in support, they feel that the good outweighs the bad. The same arguments are made time and time again for new venues, including crime. Most every time, the criminal element does not increase even if a casino is added to a family-friendly area.

College Township did have a consulting firm review the proposal and it found that the casino will have a negligible impact on the water, traffic and sewer infrastructure of the area as well as tourism and first responder calls.

The board will now review more public comments on September 15. It will be interesting to see if the comments continue to be mostly concerning the opposition of the plan or if more people will come out in support of the venue.

It doesn’t seem likely that the proposal will be denied but if enough people complain the board may decide that Lubert and Bally’s need to find a new location for the casino facility.

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