As expected, Mount Airy Casino Resort applied for and was granted an extension to submit its plans for a mini-casino to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
The New Castle News reported last month that “a location has been selected, but that it is subject to change,” and to look for more information in “the third quarter, possible September or October.”
The extension gives Mount Airy until Oct. 12 to submit plans and officially announce which community will host the new Mount Airy mini-casino.
What we know about the Mount Airy mini-casino
Mount Airy submitted a $21,888,888.88 bid to secure its mini-casino license on Feb. 8, 2018. It was the third of five gaming expansion licenses awarded through auctions held by the PGCB.
Mount Airy selected New Castle in Lawrence County as the epicenter for its location. The 15-mile radius of that point includes nearly all of Lawrence County, part of Butler County, a small portion of Beaver County, and southeastern Mercer County.
The Butler Eagle reported last month that a casino company approached local officials in Butler County about the opportunity to host a casino. No specific details about the meeting surfaced.
Lawrence County is still holding on to hope to host the mini-casino, though. Lawrence County commissioners chairman Dan Vogler told the Sharon Herald:
“We remain in contact with Mount Airy and continue to tell them what Lawrence County has to offer — a region close to the Pittsburgh market and close to the lucrative eastern Ohio market. We welcome them to our community.”
According to the petition requesting the extension, Mount Airy “has been diligently evaluating potential sites and working to identify a specific location to construct a licensed facility including evaluating the feasibility of potential sites to house (a facility); site strengths and weaknesses relative to other potential locations and the projected revenues from the respective potential locations.”
Mount Airy enters the PA interactive gaming market
A mini-casino isn’t the only gaming expansion that has Mount Airy’s attention.
Earlier this month, and just days before the deadline, Mount Airy applied for a PA online gaming license. It requested the full license which includes:
- Table games
- Slot machines
- Peer-to-peer gaming
Mount Airy and 888 have a long-standing online casino promotional partnership. Just look to their mini-casino license bid with the excessive eights in the amount as a nod to the European gaming company. As PlayPennsylvania reported earlier, expect the casino to also partner with PokerStars for online gaming. Expect two more casinos to seek extensions
Ahead of the July 18 PGCB meeting, Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach said that three of the five mini-casinos requested an extension. Only Mount Airy made it on the most recent meeting agenda.
Penn National requested and received an extension on June 27. It selected Yoe in York County for the location of its mini-casino.
Parx Casino also requested an extension and will most likely be on the Aug. 15 agenda. It chose South Newton in Cumberland County as the site for its mini-casino.
That leaves Stadium Casino and the second license awarded to Penn National with impending deadlines to submit plans to the PGCB.
Carmen E. Gonzales, director of communications for Live! Casino & Hotel representing Stadium Casino told PlayPennsylvania earlier this month, “There are no updates to share at this time.”
The PGCB will be busy this fall
It looks like the PGCB will be busy this fall. It has 90 days to act on the nine interactive gaming license applications it received. Additionally, the site locations and development plans will start to arrive in a few months time. There are also separate interactive gaming license applications and sports betting applications and regulations to deal with as well.
There is a chance that Stadium Casino and Penn National will file their plans in August. Most likely, though, the two casinos will follow the trend and also seek extensions. This puts the timeline for the first set of plans to arrive in late September or October.