Round Two Of Mini-Casino Auctions Start March 21

Posted on March 13, 2018

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will try again after failing to draw a single bid at its latest mini-casino auction.

In fact, the board announced last week a subsequent round of Category 4 casino auctions will begin on March 21 after the state’s fifth mini casino license auction ended with no bids received.

According to board procedures the initial round ended when there were no bids at the latest auction. However, state law allows for a subsequent round of auctions if all 10 available licenses are not auctioned off in the initial round.

Now, Category 3 slot machine license holders Valley Forge Casino Resort and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin will be able to bid. Additionally, they will be able do so alongside all Category 1 and 2 license holders, even if those who have already won a mini casino auction.

Four successful mini-casino bids

Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC, which operates Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, was the high bidder in the first auction Jan. 10. It won with a with a bid of $50,100,000 to build in the Borough of Yoe in York County.

Stadium Casino, LLC, the group in the middle of construction on a second Philadelphia casino, was the high bidder in the second action Jan. 24. It won with a $40,100,005 bid to build a mini-casino in Derry Township in Westmoreland County.

Mount Airy #1, LLC, operator of the Mount Airy Casino Resort, was the high bidder in the third auction Feb. 8. It bid $21,188,888.88 to build in the City of New Castle in Lawrence County.

Finally, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which operates Parx Casino, was the awarded bidder in the fourth auction Feb. 22.

Sands Bethlehem‘s $9.9 million bid to build in Hempfield Township in Mercer County was the highest at auction. However, the board invalidated the bid because it infringed on the 15-mile radius around Mount Airy’s winning bid.

Greenwood Gaming’s $8,111,000 bid to construct a satellite casino in South Newton Township in Cumberland County was the next highest.

The March 9 auction saw no bids put forward.

New auctions begin March 21

The subsequent round of auctions will be held in the board’s Office of Hearings and Appeals in Harrisburg. It is located on the second floor of the Strawberry Square Complex adjacent to the food court.

The first auction will begin at 10 a.m. local time March 21.

The board will continue to hold further auctions past this date. However, it will only do so if qualified bids of at least $7.5 million are received.

The schedule of the second round of auctions is as follows:

  • March 21, 2018
  • April 4, 2018
  • April 18, 2018
  • May 2, 2018
  • May 16, 2018
  • The final auction: May 30, 2018

The board will stream the auctions live on its website.

State lawmakers authorized the issue of up to 10 satellite casino licenses in October 2017. This initiative came as part of a comprehensive gambling expansion package that also included online gambling.

If the subsequent round of auctions runs out of bidders, the process would go to a third and final round of auctions. These would open up bidding to qualified groups outside of Pennsylvania.

Each satellite casino can host up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games.

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Marty Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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