It hasn’t quite been two years since Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, signed a gambling expansion bill into law, that in addition to online gaming and other verticals, authorized 10 of the state’s 12 existing casinos to bid on a license for satellite casinos.
It now appears as though the state is looking to add to its gaming portfolio after on Wednesday the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced that it approved a measure to allow five additional mini-casino licenses to be issued.
According to the official press release from the state licensing and regulatory agency…
…in September the PGCB will hold an auction for the right to apply for a Category 4 satellite casino license, the first of which is scheduled to take place on September 4, 2019, at 10am, just ahead of its regularly scheduled meeting. The agency’s Public Hearing Room situated on the 2nd Floor of Strawberry Square in Harrisburg will be the site of the auction.
Current holders of a Pennsylvania Category 1, 2 or 3 casino license may participate in the auctions, which will be live-streamed via the PGCB’s website.
The required minimum bid established via the Gaming Expansion Act 42 of 2017 is $7.5 million, with the mini-casino approved to operate up to 750 slot machines. The winning bidder will also need to ante-up an additional $2.5 million in fees if opting to add a maximum of 30 table games, with ability to add 10 more tables after completing a year of operation. The tables option requires a separate certificate.
The announcement by the Board was made after its collective nod was given to readminister the auction process that ran from January to April 2018. That process resulted in five successful auctions amassing a total of $127 million in bids to secure the right to obtain a Category 4 license.
According to the PGCB, those winners and their bid price include:
- Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC, the operator of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Springettsbury Township, York County ($50,100,000)
- Stadium Casino, LLC, which is constructing a Category 2 casino in Philadelphia, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County ($40,100,005)
- Mount Airy #1, LLC which operates the Mount Airy Casino Resort, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Big Beaver Borough, Beaver County ($21,188,888.88)
- Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which operates the Parx Casino, is seeking a license to construct a satellite casino in Shippensburg Township, Cumberland County ($8,111,000)
- Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC was a successf ul bidder a second time and was awarded a Category 4 license on June 12, 2019 to construct a satellite casino in Caernarvon Township, Berks County ($7,5000,003).
The Gaming Expansion Act 42 enacted by Governor Wolf in 2017, laid the groundwork for satellite casinos in the northeastern U.S. state, as well as for online and mobile gambling and daily fantasy sports and sports gambling. The legislation also authorized truck stops in the state to offer gaming terminals and airports to add gaming lounges.
Convenience store license:
Last month the PGCB granted a license to the owner of a convenience store chain to install video gambling at a store in Juniata County, making it the first of its kind to be allowed to operate up to five slot-style video gaming terminals in the state.
Online sports premiered:
Meanwhile, approximately four weeks after SugarHouse Casino inaugurated the eastern state’s first online sports betting domain at PlaySugarHouse.com, late last month, Parx Casino became the second land-based gambling venue in Pennsylvania to premiere an online sportsbook following the launch of a service powered by Kambi Group.
Earlier this month, the PGCB reported that slot machine revenue – including figures for all 12 Commonwealth casinos – had increased 1.1 percent during the (recently completed) 2018/2019 fiscal year compared to that of the previous year. The agency goes on to state that to date, since the November 6 opening of the state’s first casino, revenue from just slot machines has totaled $27 billion which has resulted in $14.5 billion in tax generation.