Stadium Casino LLC has won the second round of bidding to open a mini-casino in Pennsylvania. The Baltimore firm tendered the winning bid of $40.1 million to regulators in Harrisburg Wednesday and plan to build the new casino in Westmoreland County.
Reports indicate that the borough of Derry, about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh will be the new location. However, specific site location was not required in the bidding process. The company can still negotiate with other municipalities within a 15-mile radius as long as the potential location is at least 25 miles away from any existing casinos.
The region currently supports three casinos including Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington, and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Stadium Casino is also developing the much larger Live! Hotel and Casino in Philadelphia. The mini-casino could have up to 750 slots and 30 gaming tables.
At a Chamber of Commerce meeting on Jan 11, local business leaders said they were confident that Westmoreland County would attract one of the 10 new licenses being issued as part of a gambling expansion approved by lawmakers late last year.
Commonwealth gambling oversight committee member, Rep. George Dunbar told the Philadelphia Tribune then that he expected the county to get the new casino: “I’m very confident that will happen. Everything I’m hearing in Harrisburg is that the prime locations are in our area and in Lawrence County. I’m hearing enough stuff through the grapevine to say that, said Dunbar. Stadium beat out three other bidders for the license.
The first license went to a subsidiary of Wyomissing-based Penn National Gaming, operators of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course near Harrisburg. Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association’s winning bid of $50.1 million will see one of the new facilities built in York County.
Municipalities that did not want to be considered were required to formally opt-out of the process before the end of last year. Several communities throughout the state, including Clearfield County, have expressed interest in becoming host communities and some have been fairly aggressive in getting their messages out.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is awarding the licenses through an auctioning process. Lawmakers had said earlier that they expected to raise at least $100 million through licensing fees and the first two have already surpassed 90% of that goal.