The second auction for a satellite casino in Pennsylvania has been completed and Stadium Casino LLC won with a $40.1 million bid.
In Pennsylvania, a gaming package approved in October 2017 has paved the way for several changes to the gambling industry of the state. One such change is the ability for as many as ten satellite casinos to be created. To gain a license to operate one of the satellite casinos, operators must bid during an auction held by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The first auction took place a few weeks ago and saw Penn National Gaming win with a bid of $50 million. This was a staggering amount of money and not expected. Now, the second auction has taken place with Stadium Casino LLC earning a license with a bid of $40.1 million.
Stadium Casino LLC Wins
Stadium Casino LLC currently operates the Live! Hotel and Casino in Philadelphia and want to use their new license to create a mini casino in Westmoreland County. The company would be quite busy as the Live! venue has yet to open. In their bid, the group listed the Derry Township as the target area. The company does have the right to negotiate in other areas as long as it does not interfere with casinos that already exist in a given region. In the Western region of the state, several casinos already exist including the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, the Rivers Casino and the Meadows Racetrack & Casino.
According to Senator Kim Ward, the smaller gaming venue can be placed in several areas including Derry, Hempfield to some degree, Latrobe and areas near the Westmoreland Mall. Ward is excited about the prospect of seeing a satellite casino in her area as more money will be added to the local and county coffers.
Satellite Casino Auction Process
For an operator to be able to gain licensing, they must go through the auction process, and of course already be operating a land-based venue in the state. The Gaming Control Board hosts an auction and will choose the operator with the highest bid. The second auction by the board took place this morning in Harrisburg. The board will continue to provide auctions two times a month through the month of May.
The smaller casinos, known as a satellite casino, will be able to hold as many as 750 slot games and 40 total table games. During the months prior to the passage of the gaming package that included the satellite casino approval, municipalities had the ability to decide if they wanted to host such a gaming venue. Nine municipalities have decided to not participate. These areas include:
- Laurel Mountain
- New Alexandria
- North Huntingdon
- Penn Township
- South Huntingdon
- Upper Burrell
The counties that opted out cannot be included when the decision process is made as to where a satellite casino will be located. A large portion of cities and towns in the state decided they did not want to be involved in the process during the opting out phase.
The next auction by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will take place in February with two auctions on the schedule. It will be interesting to see who wins the next license and if the bidding will go down again or if the pricing will fluctuate. The first bid was $50.1 million, and the next winning bid was $40.1 million. We shall see if the bidding goes down or perhaps goes even higher during the next scheduled auction.