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Mini-Casino Slated To Open In Westmoreland County

Julie Jacobson
Stadium Casino placed a winning $40.1-million bid Wednesday to build a mini-casino in Westmoreland County.

Southwestern Pennsylvania will soon have another casino.

Stadium Casino, a firm with commercial developments across the country, placed the winning bid Wednesday in a state gaming control board auction to build a “mini-casino” in Westmoreland County. Its bid of $40.1 million won the company a license to construct a casino with up to 750 slot machines.

The auction was the second in a series of 10 that will take place this year after the Pennsylvania Legislature, in 2017, authorized the licenses for small casinos. These are facilities with fewer than 750 slot machines. Most casinos in Pennsylvania have around 3,000 slots. 

The chair of the Westmoreland County Commission welcomed the outcome, noting that neighboring Allegheny, Washington, and Fayette counties all reap benefits from their casinos.

“It’s surrounding us,” Commissioner Gina Cerilli said. “It’s time that Westmoreland County has a piece of the pie as well.”

Counties with a casino receive a small percentage of the business’s proceeds, which Cerilli estimates will mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue for Westmoreland County.

Plus, she said, the casino will draw more people to the area to make use of the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport and visit the Laurel Highlands.

“This is going to be huge for tourism,” Cerilli said. “You’re going to be able to come and play some slots and also do some other things in the community. So we’re very excited for it.”

Stadium Casino can build the facility within a 15-mile radius of a point identified in its bid, located in Derry Township. Nine of the 65 municipalities within the county have opted out of hosting the casino.

The company has six months to submit an application to the gaming control board detailing its plans.

"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,” company spokesperson Carmen Gonzales said in a statement.

Stadium Casino is also building a casino in Philadelphia. The company is a joint venture between the Cordish Companies, which operates a range of facilities from casinos to restaurants to coworking spaces, and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, which operates the Parx Casino in Bucks County.

The first auction, held earlier in January, resulted in a $50.1 million bid by Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association to build a mini-casino in the York County area. The association operates Hollywood Casino near Harrisburg.