Mount Airy Casino Resort has claimed the third satellite casino license in Pennsylvania.
Since the start of 2018, the state of Pennsylvania has been progressing when it comes to the many expansion plans for their gambling industry. One category in which the state is expanding is the creation of satellite casinos, or mini casinos. As many as 10 licenses will be up for grabs, with existing gaming venues having the first opportunity to claim a license. Since January and through May, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will be hosting two auctions per month, giving a license for a satellite casino to the highest bidder. Just this week, Mount Airy Casino Resort became the 3rd operator to obtain licensing for a satellite casino in the state.
Mount Airy Wins
The auction process for a Category 4 casino license is held by the Gaming Board in a public bid. Today, three bids were received with Mount Airy having the highest bid of $21,188,888.88. Because they had the highest bid, they are now a satellite casino license holder. Operators had to list where they would place their mini casino, with Mount Airy having plans to place their venue in New Castle, which is a city of Lawrence County.
The operator has to pay the bid amount to the state within two business days. If they do not do so, they lose the license and the next highest bid wins. A time frame of six months has been given for an application to be submitted for Category 4 Slot Machine gaming.
Within the application, Mount Airy will have to provide the exact site where they will be placing their casino as well as detailed plans of the venue. This is to include a building plan proposal, amenities of the property, projections for employment and other information related to the project. After the application has been received by the Board, information within will be made public online.
Other License Holders
The auction process for satellite casinos in Pennsylvania began in January with Penn National Gaming and Stadium Casino LLC earning licensing. The first license technically went to Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association LLC which is the operating company behind the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Their bid of $50.1 million was the winner.
The bid was massive and was much higher than what had been originally been anticipated for the first auction within the satellite casino process. Mountainview paid a pretty penny to have the first license and plans on creating their Category 4 venue in Yoe of York County.
Just two weeks later, Stadium Casino LLC obtained licensing with a $40.1 million bid. Still quite large, this bid was much lower than the first auction bid by Mountainview. Stadium Casino currently does not operate a casino in the state but has one in the works for Philadelphia, which helped them to quality for satellite casino licensing.
The first and second bid were much higher than this most recent win by Mount Airy and begs the question as to if the bids will continue to decrease. Only a minimum of $7.5 million must be bid in order to be consider, so each winning bid has been a big increase when compared to the amount required. An additional $2.5 million must be paid by the license holder if they want to offer table games on top of slot options.
The next auction is set for February 21st at 10:00 am. It will be interesting to see how many bids roll in and who the winner of license number four will be.