Drama Surrounds 4th PA Mini Casino License

Pennsylvania Mini Casino Locations

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had been expected to announce the winner of the 4th PA mini-casino license. A bid was submitted but soon invalidated by the PGCB due to location issues. This led to redo on Thursday, which resulted in a winning bid from Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment — operator of Parx Casino — who bid $8.1 million to place a casino in southern Pennsylvania near the Maryland border.

Glennwood Gaming’s bid marks a big drop from the initial three mini casinos licenses, which have yielded bids ranging from $21.9 million to over $50.1 million. With this latest bid, over $120 million has been paid in license fees for the first four mini casinos. Bids start at a minimum of $7.5 million.

Details of the Latest Mini Casino License

In selecting the coordinates for their new mini casino, Greenwood chose a location in south central Pennsylvania along Interstate 81 in Cumberland Country. The central location of the coordinates are targeted for the South Newton Township, close to Gettysburg and near the Maryland border. The company has the rights to place a casino within a 15 mile radius.

As mentioned, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment owns and operates the Parx Casino, which is the largest casino by slots revenue in 2017. Parx Casino, which offers table games, slots, poker and a race track, is located in the northwestern Philadelphia suburbs near the New Jersey border. The company also plans to launch the Live! Hotel and Casino in south Philadelphia with Cordish Gaming. Earlier this month, the company voiced their objections to branded online gambling skins in Pennsylvania.

The new location of the Greenwood casino will allow the company to expand outside of Philadelphia in a relatively untapped area, with only one existing casino nearby.

The casino is to placed in the general area of the Hollywood Casino, owned by Penn National, located in Harrisburg. The company bid over $50 million for the first license in an effort to protect turf near the casino. The site of the new Glennwood-owned will be around 35 miles to the southwest. The casino is currently suing Pennsylvania for how the state went about determining mini-casino locations, arguing that Penn National would unfairly negatively impacted by the rules.

In winning the rights of the newest license, Glennwood will be able to add up to 750 slot machines and up to 40 table games in the new location.

What Happened on Wednesday?

All of Thursday’s news came on the heels of drama on Wednesday that saw Sands Bethworks Gaming bid $9.9 million to place a casino in western Pennsylvania in Mercer Country. The problem? The proposed location encroached on the area of the last mini-casino license awarded to Mount Airy on February 8th. Mount Airy plans to place their new mini-casino near New Castle.

This resulted in redo on Thursday morning at which point the newest license was awarded to Greenwood. Fortunately, the placement of this casino did not violate any location requirements.

The next mini-casino auction will be held on March 7th and will again be announced by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Auctions will continue to be held two weeks until all ten licenses are purchased, either by in-state casinos and then — other entities.