South Middleton Township supervisors could vote Thursday on a resolution to allow a mini-casino to be located in the township.
Supervisors heard from residents at their last meeting on July 26, with most of those vocal at the meeting in opposition to a mini-casino. Though supervisor Bryan Gembusia had voiced his willingness to not take a vote at all on the matter, supervisors came back after a 15-minute break to vote 3-2 to continue casino discussions, with Gembusia and supervisor Tom Faley casting votes in opposition.
Gembusia will not be at Thursday’s meeting due to a previously scheduled vacation.
The draft agenda for the township meeting only lists the casino as a “discussion,” but a vote could happen, especially since Greenwood Gaming, which seeks to build a Parx mini-casino in Cumberland County, will want a quick response from the township.
Greenwood was the winning bidder in the Feb. 22 Category 4 location auction to build a mini-casino within a 15-mile radius of a center point they chose in South Newton Township. Winning bidders are required to apply for the slot machine license within six months of payment of the winning bid amount, which means the deadline for Greenwood’s application is Aug. 23.
In that application, there must be specific information about the casino’s location.
Greenwood has filed a request for a deadline extension with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which will act on that request at its Aug. 15 meeting.
In that request, Greenwood cited there were three municipalities they were eyeing as possible sites: South Middleton and two others that were not disclosed.
At the last South Middleton meeting, Greenwood CEO Tony Ricci said they had until October to file a casino application in the area, and told township officials that since they have another municipality in mind, they would prefer knowing sooner rather than later about where the township stands.
Shippensburg Township Supervisor Steve Oldt said that while Greenwood has not had any official discussions with the township, they are amenable to having such discussions. Shippensburg Township is one of the municipalities in the county that did not opt out of having a mini-casino when discussions started in 2017.
Other municipalities, like South Middleton Township, that opted out of having a casino within their borders must pass a resolution opting back in to allow a casino to be built.
There has been no concrete information on where Greenwood would want to place a mini-casino in South Middleton, but they were looking at the Walnut Bottom Road area. The company plans to build a 55,000-square-foot facility with 550 slot machines, a restaurant and 500 parking spaces.
The South Middleton supervisors meeting will start at 6 p.m. Thursday at the township building, 520 Park Drive, Boiling Springs.