Two PA mini casinos moved one step closer to reality after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced December public hearings for two of the state’s planned mini-casinos. The hearings are held for public input in regards to proposed locations of so-called “Category 4” casinos, otherwise known as mini-casinos. Proponents and opponents of the casinos are encouraged to participate to provide input.
Hearings set for early December
The first hearing will be held on December 4th at 1 PM for the proposed Mount Airy-owned mini-casino, which purchased the third mini-casino license in February for $21.2 million. The company plans to place a mini casino in Big Beaver. The casino will be located near I-376 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Following Mount Airy, a hearing for a Stadium Casino-owned mini casino will be held on December 5th at 1132 Woodward Drive in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The proposed location for the casino is at the old Bon-Ton store located at the Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg. Stadium Casino purchased the rights to the second mini-casino license in January with a $40.1 million bid.
During the first half of 2018, the state of Pennsylvania sold five licenses at a price tag of $127 million. Category 4 casinos, also known as mini-casinos, are smaller than many of Pennsylvania’s existing casinos and are required to be located more than 25 miles from an existing casino. Only Pennsylvania’s thirteen casinos were eligible to bid on licenses for the casinos, which are limited to 300-700 slot machines and 40 table games.
Where do other mini casinos stand?
Five mini-casino licenses were awarded in early 2018 out of a possible thirteen licenses. Despite the lack of mini-casino licenses that were acquired, the state still managed to exceed expectations with $127 million raised from the five auctions. At a minimum price tag of $7.5 million, the state had hoped to raise just under $100 million.
Public hearings are now set for two mini-casino sites, but what about the others?
In September, Penn National announced that its first mini-casino would be going in at an old department store located in the Springettsbury Township at the York Galleria mall. Penn National paid over $50 million for the rights for the first license in early January.
In April, Penn National’s won the auction for a second license with a location centered in the West Cocalico area. A specific location for that site is yet to be determined.
The remaining mini-casino license was purchased by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, the owner of Parx Casino. On Thursday, the company announced that it would be placing their mini-casino in the Shippensburg Township. Parx acquired won their license during the fourth auction when they bid $8.1 million.