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PA satellite casino auction process comes to an end


Pennsylvania’s process for the right to apply for satellite casino licenses has come to an end, after no operator submitted a bid in today’s (4 September) auction. 

This means a maximum of five Category 4 casino licenses will be issued in the state. To date two operators have received licenses for satellite facilities, with applications from three more pending. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) explained that the the state’s 2017 Gambling Expansion Act dictated that the process would be at an end once an auction failed to attract any bids.

The Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, an affiliate of Penn National Gaming, was the first to be licensed, for its Hollywood Casino Morgantown property in Berks County, after paying $7.5m for the right to apply. 

Stadium Casino was then granted a Category 4 license for its Live! Casino Pittsburgh facility, to be located in Hempfield Township of Westmoreland County. The operator, which is also constructing a Category 2 casino in Philadelphia, paid $40.1m for the opportunity. 

Three other venues may yet secure licences. Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association is seeking certification for a second satellite casino, in Springettsbury Township, York County, having had a $50.1m bid accepted.

Mount Airy Casino Resort, meanwhile, paid $21.2m for a potential facility in Big Beaver Borough, Beaver County, while Parx Casino operator Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment paid $8.1m for a venue in Shippensburg Township, Cumberland County.

The Category 4 license category was created as part of the Gaming Expansion Act that also paved the way for the roll-out of online gaming and sports betting in the state. It covers properties that host between 300 and 750 slot machines, and up to 40 table games. Only Category 1, 2 and 3 casino license holders were eligible to participate.