The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has announced that it will be holding a special event at its Harrisburg headquarters on the morning of January 10 in order to auction the first of ten new satellite casino licenses.
The state’s gambling regulator also revealed that the remaining nine ‘Category Four’ licenses are to be sold off via identical events to be held every two weeks until May 16 with the minimum bid amount for each site set at $7.5 million.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board explained that this minimum tender amount will entitle the winning bidder to operate up to 750 slots while they can pay an additional $2.5 million in order to augment this offering with a maximum of 30 gaming tables, which may be increased by ten units to 40 after one year.
The Pennsylvania regulator declared that every auction will moreover see it reveal the specific location for that particular satellite casino while the entire process is to be open to all of the state’s existing licensed racetrack and casino operators although each is set to be initially permitted to hold only one of the ten new licenses.
“A subsequent round will be held if all ten available licenses are not auctioned off,” read a statement from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “Should this round of auctions occur, the two holders of ‘Category Three’ slot machine licenses could participate along with any ‘Category One’ or ‘Category Two’ license holders even if any of those holders have already won a ‘Category Four’ auction. This round of auctions must be completed by August 31, 2018.”
The new ‘Category Four’ licenses are a result of wide-ranging gaming legislation signed into law by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in October. Although not universally popular, the expansion is part of an effort to raise additional funds in order to help fill the state’s bulging $2.2 billion annual budget deficit and is expected to bring in upwards of $230 million a year in new revenues via taxes and licensing fees.