Pennsylvania mini-casino license auctions bringing in the bucks


pennsylvania-satellite-casino-auctionsPennsylvania’s second mini-casino license auction resulted in another major payday for the state.

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that Stadium Gaming LLP had won the state’s second Category 4 casino license auction. Stadium’s winning bid of $40,100,005 was sufficient to fend off three unidentified rival bidders (and we really hope that extra five bucks was what sealed the deal).

Stadium Gaming is the joint venture of the Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment. The latter firm operates the state’s market-leading Parx Casino in Bucks County, and Stadium Gaming is also currently building the $600m Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia.

Stadium Gaming’s new Cat 4 venue will go somewhere near Derry Township in Westmoreland County in the western half of the state, not far from Pittsburgh. Stadium spokesperson Carmen Gonzales promised area residents a “world-class gaming and entertainment venue” along with “thousands of new excellent jobs.”

The first Cat 4 license was claimed by Penn National Gaming, which bid $50.1m for a spot in York County. While Stadium Gaming’s bid was nearly $10m less, the state doesn’t seem to be complaining, given that the minimum bid is a mere $7.5m and the two-auction total has already exceeded the $67.5m the government expected to earn this year from the Cat 4 program.

The state authorized up to 10 mini-casino licenses as part of the gambling expansion legislation approved last year. The Cat 4 license allows operators to host between 300 and 750 slot machines, with the option of adding 30 gaming tables for an additional license fee of $2.5m, plus 10 more tables after the first year.

The next Cat 4 auction is scheduled for February 7 and subsequent auctions will continue every two weeks. Stadium Gaming and Penn National are ineligible to compete in future auctions, unless there are licenses left over after the initial round.