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Pennsylvania to hold new slot license auction


The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) will hold an action on 2 September for a Category 4 Slot Machine License.

A category 4 licence would allow the licensee to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines.

Any entity “with an ownership interest in a slot machine license” may participate, by submitting a location – a circle with 15 mile radius – in which they would operate.

The center point of this circle may not be located within 40 linear miles of any existing or planned Category 1, 2, 3 or 4. 

As specified in Pennsylvania’s Gaming Expansion Act, the minimum bid price in such an auction would be $7.5m. The licensee may also pay a further fee of $2.5m which would allow it to add up to 30 table games, with an additional 10 after its first year of operation.

Mount Airy Casino Resorts had previously applied for this license and won an auction in 2018 with a winning price of $21.2m for a Big Beaver Borough facility, but their application was later denied.

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 allows Category 1, 2 and 3 casino license holders to participate in auctions to build satellite facilities hosting between 300 and 750 slot machines, and up to 40 table games.

However, it came to an end in September last year, after the latest auction failed to attract any operator bids.

Other past auction winners include Penn National Gaming paying $50.1m for a facility in Springettsbury Township, York County, and $7.5m for a facility in Caernarvon Township, Berks County.

Parx Casino operator Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment also won an auction that saw it pay $8.1m for the right to obtain a licence for a venue in Shippensburg Township.