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Bally’s to build casino in former Macy’s store near Penn …

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The new Bally’s casino scheduled to open near Penn State University will occupy the former Macy’s store at the Nittany Mall.

College Township, where Penn State is located, announced the location Thursday in a fact sheet that offered more details about the $120 million mini-casino. In January, Bally’s and former Penn State trustee Ira Lubert jointly announced plans for the casino, which they said then would be located “near the Nittany Mall,” which is about four miles from the Penn State campus.

According to the latest casino fact sheet, the casino will take over the Macy’s location that closed in 2020. In 2006, College Township established a zoning provision that allowed for the Macy’s space to be used as a “gaming establishment.”

According to Bally’s, the Category 4 mini-casino will include 750 slot machines and 30 table games, along with a sportsbook, restaurant and entertainment facilities.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year, pending regulatory approvals, and will take one year, according to the fact sheet.

The casino will be the first Bally’s property in Pennsylvania.

“Expanding our rapidly growing, national footprint into the attractive Pennsylvania gaming market represents yet another major milestone for Bally’s and a great way to cap off a truly extraordinary year,” George Papanier, president and chief executive officer of Bally’s Corporation, said in a January statement. “Regional, land-based casinos remain the cornerstone of our portfolio diversification strategy, providing the necessary support for the growth, development and success of our future sports betting and iGaming initiatives. We look forward to combining our own proven track record of greenfield development with Ira Lubert’s local knowledge and expertise to bring Bally’s first-in-class gaming experience and amenities to customers and sports fans across Pennsylvania.”

Lubert, a 1973 Penn State graduate, is a real estate and private-equity investor who has been part of casino developments in Pittsburgh and Valley Forge, Pa. He won the College Township casino bid from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board last year.

Lubert served as chair of Penn State’s Board of Trustees in 2016 and was on the six-person search committee that helped hire Bill O’Brien as the football coach in 2012.

“I am excited to have Bally’s as our partner to complement our vision, industry experience and financing capabilities,” Lubert said in a January statement. “Together, I believe we will make this transformative project successful for all stakeholders and look forward to the positive impact the redevelopment will have on the community.”

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