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No bids received for Pennsylvania's 5th mini-casino license

| Friday, March 9, 2018, 10:57 a.m.
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County

First delayed two days by bad weather, an attempt to auction off a license for Pennsylvania's fifth mini-casino will have to wait even longer.

The state Gaming Control Board received no bids for the auction, rescheduled for Friday in Harrisburg.

Kevin O'Toole, executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, announced at the start of the scheduled auction said that no formal proposals were submitted for the rights to open a satellite casino with up to 750 slot machines and 40 table games.

Four licenses for mini casinos have been auctioned off, including one earmarked for Westmoreland County.

State lawmakers authorized up to 10 mini-casinos for Pennsylvania, with first dibs reserved for operators of the state's 10 full-fledged casinos.

With no bidders for the remaining six available licenses, a second round of auctions will start March 21 in which operators of Pennsylvania's two smaller resort casinos, including Lady Luck Casino at Nemacolin Woodlands resort in Fayette County, can bid, O'Toole said.

Casino operators who have previously secured rights to build mini casinos also are now eligible to bid on additional licenses, O'Toole said.

The minimum bid for a mini casino is $7.5 million.

So far, the state has earned more than $118 million by auctioning four mini casinos licenses.

Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, in January submitted a winning bid of $50.1 million for the first mini-casino license. It plans to build in York County.

Philadelphia-based Stadium Casino LLC bid $40.1 million to secure the second mini-casino license, which it intends to build in Westmoreland County.

Mount Airy #1 LLC bid nearly $21.2 million for the third mini-casino license, with plans to build around New Castle, Lawrence County.

The fourth license went to Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc. for $8.1 million after the initial winning bid of $9.8 million was invalidated. Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC selected a potential site in Mercer County that overlapped the 15-mile buffer of the Lawrence County mini-casino, the Gaming Control Board ruled.

Greenwood plans to build in Cumberland County.

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