State gaming board grants final license for Westmoreland Mall mini casino
State gaming officials approved the license for a mini casino to operate out of Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield.
The state Gaming Control Board voted unanimously Wednesday to grant Stadium Casino LLC — owned by the Maryland-based Cordish Companies — a Category 4 satellite casino license for which they paid more than $40 million in July 2018. Board members also granted the casino a license to operate table games.
Live! Casino Pittsburgh — as Cordish calls the project at www.livecasinowest.com — is slated to open in the former Bon-Ton store site. Known as a mini casino, it will feature 750 slot machines and 30 table games. The second floor will house a restaurant and bar area, an events center, and an entryway connected to the on-site parking garage, casino officials said during the hearing.
Renderings presented last year show Guy Fieri’s Taco Joint as one of the options moving forward, along with a nightlife venue and an area for sports betting.
The facility is expected to open next year, officials said, adding that an impact study was submitted to the township.
Wednesday’s hearing comes after a December public meeting where company officials said proposed plans could bring about 500 mostly full-time jobs with average annual wages of $43,000. A timeline for construction has not yet been revealed, but mall officials started demolition inside the store in April.
The Westmoreland project is expected to generate $188 million in annual revenue for the county, with an additional $148 million from construction, which is predicted to bring 960 direct and indirect construction jobs.
“We’re very excited and honored to have been awarded the license by the Gaming Control Board and thank them for their consideration,” Joe Weinberg, Cordish managing partner, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with state and local officials, and the entire community, as we move forward with development of a true world-class destination that will attract people from throughout the region for a unique gaming and entertainment experience.”
Moving forward, Stadium Casino officials will need approval from Hempfield for construction projects.
The first gaming license was granted in June for the Hollywood Casino project in Berks County. The 89,500-square-foot facility, near the Morgantown exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, is permitted to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines and could open in late 2020.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Stadium officials were also awarded a Category 2 license renewal for construction of a Philadelphia casino.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .