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PA Gaming Control Board Renews Lady Luck Nemacolin License


The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently decided to renew the operating license for the operator of Lady Luck Nemacolin. That came after the usual series deadlines, citizen input and a town hall meeting regarding one of the smaller PA casinos.

Lady Luck still in business

According to a press release from the PGCB, the vote was unanimous at 7-0.

“The seven-member Board determined that Woodlands Fayette, LLC had fulfilled the obligations under its previously-approved casino operator’s license,” the release read, “and therefore qualified to have its license renewed for an additional three-year period.”

The renewal process is part of Section 1326 of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.

This is the first renewal vote for the casino, which opened its doors in July 2013.

Of note: the state is still trying to fix an unconstitutional casino tax that benefits jurisdictions like Farmington, where Lady Luck is located.

Business model still paying off for Lady Luck

Wrangling the deep pockets of whales wasn’t the focus of the casino’s business model when it opened more than three years ago. The gambling property wanted to bring in small-time gamblers through a variety of $5 and $10 craps and blackjack tables.

Over time, the casino added other features to its gaming floor in the hopes of reaching a wider population of gamblers. For instance, on Fridays and Saturdays, it runs nearly 30 table games for 48 straight hours.

Lady Luck also rolled out a non-smoking area of the gambling floor for patrons.

Slot revenue has been down recently at Lady Luck and other casinos in the state.

Casino has colorful past with license

While Lady Luck may cater to gamblers with lighter pockets, the casino’s owners certainly brought the heavy artillery when they competed with three other management groups to get the one PA slots license available at the beginning of the decade.

When Woodlands Fayette landed the casino, it came as a shock to the group’s competitors. The main beef had to do with the state’s Category 3 casino legislation. According to the rules, Category 3 casinos must have a hotel, and the slot machines must be “in” the hotel.

Lady Luck’s opponents said the casino getting the license was ludicrous. The slots would be more than a mile from the hotel, they argued.

In the case, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania had to interpret a two-letter preposition: “in.” A competing management group waged other arguments, as well.

One particularly divisive argument was that the state’s own gaming board couldn’t make up its mind about whether to approve Lady Luck for a license.

“It was only after two members left and were replaced with at least one former legislator who helped craft the gaming law that the impasse was broken and Nemacolin was the victor,” reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2012.


J.R. has been recognized three times as a winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest. Now working as a freelance writer, his work has been featured in a wide variety of online and print publications including Barcelona Metropolitan, Bespoke Post, Our Amazing Norway, the Villages Daily Sun, and Snooth.