With the gaming package passed into law in October, the state of Pennsylvania is preparing for several changes to their gaming industry. Included in the mix is the availability of 10 satellite casino licenses. The state has allowed for the creation of up to 10 new mini casinos and an auction process is set to begin on January 10th for operators to bid on obtaining a license for operation.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced this week that the first round of auctions will take place in January. The Category 4 casino licenses will be up for grabs at the offices of the Board beginning next month. A total of 10 auction dates will be provided with one permit provided during each auction.
The minimum bid to obtain the Category 4 licensing is $7.5 million. An additional $2.5 million must be provided for the operator to be given approval for table games. The operator that provides the highest offer, sealed of course, on the 10th, will be given the right to choose a rural municipality to create the new gaming venue.
However, the winning bidder may have a tough time finding a rural area in which to create a satellite casino. Hundreds of townships across the state have decided the they do not want to take part in the new gaming option. The municipalities of the state have until the end of the month to remove their candidacy or state that the do want to take part as a host region.
To not play host, municipalities had to pass resolutions stating that Category 4 gaming is banned in their area and provide notification to the gaming board. It seems the only area that is showing valid interest is the town of Reading. Officials of Reading have come forward with their intention and openness to becoming a host of the new satellite gaming venues.
Now it’s a waiting game to see which operators will attend the January auction and just how much a license goes for, if any interest even exists.