Last Tuesday (December 4), the Pennsylvania Gaming Control board hosted a public hearing that was attended by over 100 people including county representatives, local residents, and tradesmen all of who came to hear about the additional details about a proposed mini-casino by the operators of Mount Airy Casino Resort. The developers presented a summary of the 400-page mini-casino application to the state gaming control board at Big Beaver’s fire hall.
The proposed mini-casino is expected to bring 250 construction jobs as well as 500 full-time jobs to the region when it finally goes live – this will be around early 2020 for the proposed mini casino site which is located at the intersection of Shenango Road and Fairlane Boulevard. These 500 full-time positions will be split between various sectors of the gaming facility, that is, gaming employees, administrative staff and facility support staff.
As for the for the anticipated launch date of the mini-casino project, Mount Airy initially hoped to have the operation up and running by 2019. However, this changes after Jason Landsbach, the president of the borough council dismissed these aspirations for being too optimistic. Apparently, he may actually be right – a land-sale agreement for the property that the operator is eyeing will need to be approved before the construction kicks off and this makes the new mid-2020 completion date more reasonable.
Mount Airy’s summary of their mini casino application also highlighted, among other things, the economic impact of the entertainment facility on the region as well as traffic studies. It is anticipated that the satellite casino will generate upwards of $400,000 in revenue for the county every year and a large portion of this revenue will be invested into local law-enforcement
A total of seventeen people signed up to speak at the December 4 hearing and they included representatives from the Big Beaver Falls Area School District, big Beaver Council, the Homewood Council, the Beaver County Building Trades and the Community College of Beaver County. Most of those in attendance expressed their support for the mini casino project citing the fact that it would generate jobs and generate revenue for local communities and many more.
The members of the gaming control board also asked the developer a number of questions after the presentation was made by the casino officials. The board’s primary concern was whether the casino would be able to provide enough to find enough construction workers for the casino project since there is already another high-profile development project underway in the state.
In response to some of these concerns, Patrick Burke, the Mount Airy Vice President of Finance assured the people who attended the hearing that the right actions would be taken to ensure that local workers get the bulk of the jobs available.