ShareThis Page

Lawrence County to be site of Pennsylvania's third mini-casino

| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 10:12 a.m.
Slot machines inside Rivers Casino on the North Shore.
Tribune Review
Slot machines inside Rivers Casino on the North Shore.

Lawrence County is to finally get its dream of hosting a casino — some 14 years after being promised one.

Mount Airy #1 LLC on Thursday bid nearly $21.2 million for the rights to Pennsylvania's third mini casino license, which it intends to build in or near New Castle.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced the winning bid before its meeting Feb. 8 in Harrisburg.

State officials already have seen more than $90 million bid on the first two licenses auctioned in January, including one facility planned in Westmoreland County.

Stadium Live LLC bid $40.1 million to reserve a license to build a small casino within a 15-mile region centered in Derry Township.

State officials will auction off 10 mini casino licenses through May for the rights to build small facilities that have up to 750 slot machines and up to 40 table games.

Lawrence County officials tried for more than a decade to land one of Pennsylvania's coveted racetrack and casino operations before the state Gaming Control board in July 2016 officially denied the gaming license application for Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort.

The racino project was to be built on a 250-acre site in Mahoning Township, outside of New Castle.

Lawrence County was promised a racino in 2004, when state lawmakers legalized casino gambling in Pennsylvania.

Six different developers tried to land a casino gaming license and a horse racing license for the project, which once was known as Valley View Downs.

Now the Mount Airy group will select a location and finalize a deal for its mini casino within a 15-mile radius of New Castle.

The Mahoning Township location falls within that area.

Mount Airy #1 LLC operates Mount Airy Casino Resort near Mount Pocono, Monroe County, in northeastern Pennsylvania.

"We are happy with their decision," said Lawrence County Commissioner Dan Vogler, "and we are going to do all we can to make them feel welcome."

Vogler said he has placed a call to the general manager of the Mount Airy casino but has yet to speak to anyone with the group.

In November, Lawrence County commissioners mailed packets to all Pennsylvania casino operators — the only ones allowed to bid for the licenses — marketing their county and interest in hosting a mini casino.

They met with one operator and received a letter from Mount Airy officials, Vogler said.

"We are very pleased," he said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me