Following the approval of a $32 billion budget for the state of Pennsylvania on June 30, lawmakers in Harrisburg are looking for sources of funding. With the Pennsylvania budget about $1.5 billion out of balance and no current plan to make up that deficit, state lawmakers are considering revenue from the expansion of gambling as a way to make up that difference. This expansion may just bring a casino to State College, according to Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman and the Centre County Gazette.
Senator Corman, R-Bellefonte, said, “It’s been suggested that State College would be a spot that somebody may want to locate [a casino].”
Sen. Corman explained that one proposal involved allowing established casinos to set up satellite locations throughout the state and that State College was one of those proposed locations. Corman noted that, despite some uneasiness about casinos in general, he believes they have been shown to pose no real societal threat and have acted as good corporate citizens.
Bringing a casino to State College, however, would be no easy task. A law allowing satellite casino locations would first need to pass, and State College would need to be picked as one of those satellite locations.
Rumors have been swirling in the State College area regarding the construction of a casino, prompting Rep. Scott Conklin’s Chief of Staff Tor Michaels to say, “There is talk of a location within the Centre Region but we have heard nothing official.”
As strange as a casino in State College may sound, it is clear that the area is undergoing rapid change. Big businesses – like Target and H&M – have recently moved into downtown locations and high-rise apartment buildings have been popping up left and right. It is unlikely that the casino would be downtown, as rumors point to Patton township. But who’s to say a casino couldn’t be next?