Clearfield leaders hoping to attract mini casino

CLEARFIELD — Clearfield County officials are continuing efforts to attract a mini casino to the county.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill in October to allow up to 10 mini casinos with up to 750 slot machines and 40 gaming tables. Four licenses have been awarded.

The mini casinos have to be at least 25 miles from a current casino.

The next auction is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Officials in Clearfield County have approached some of the possible casino operators suggesting a profitable location would be in Lawrence Township near I-80.

“I’ve been hearing that this is a dead project, and that is not the case,” Rob Swales, CEO of Clearly Ahead, said in a statement. “We are still in the race.”

Swales said that authorities continue to reach out every 10 to 14 days to company executives. “We will continue our marketing efforts to promote Clearfield County for consideration until all licenses have been awarded.”

He expects the Clearfield area and the smaller markets will play a part in the next auctions because the state borders are being saturated.

“The closest casinos are in the Harrisburg area and Westmoreland County. We are wide open in Central Pennsylvania,” Swales said.

Even if a mini casino is granted to the State College, Altoona or Johnstown markets, it does not eliminate Clearfield County because these cities are further away than the 25-mile requirement.

“Our visibility from I-80 and ability to be responsive to speed to market development services are major advantages over many other areas along the interstate in central Pennsylvania,” Swales said.

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