Pennsylvania Municipalities Continue to Say No to Satellite Casinos

In October 2017, the state of Pennsylvania saw a gaming package signed into law. The package included several areas of gaming expansion, one of which being satellite casinos. As many as 10 licenses will be made available for the mini casinos, and municipalities had until the end of 2017 to decide if they wanted to host one of these gaming venues. It has now come to light that just over 1,000 municipalities are not interested in becoming involved.

Municipalities had the ability to vote whether or not they would like to be host to a satellite casino. For the most part, municipalities are voting no. Lancaster County is one area where all 60 of the municipalities voted no to the potential gaming venues. Other townships not interested include Adams, Berks, Clearfield, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Skippack, Towamensing, Nescopeck, East Lackawannock and more.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board currently has 1,017 municipalities listed as areas that voted to opt-out of the gambling expansion law. Local officials said no to hosting one of the mini casinos. Beginning this week, the Gaming Control Board will start the auction process for mini casino licenses. The process will allow Category 1 and 2 license holders bidding for a satellite casino license. The minimum bid accepted will be $7.5 million. The highest bid will be given licensing, and the satellite casino cannot be constructed within 25 linear miles near a competing casino.

So now, it is a waiting game. Will license holders in the state attend the auction and bid on the satellite casino licensing? If so, what will the highest bid be? With the number of municipalities growing smaller, it may prove that operators are not interested in vying for the satellite casino licensing due to where a venue could be located. It will be interesting to watch later in the week to see how many, if any, license holders bid for the satellite casino licensing and who ends up with the first one.

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