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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board revealed Stadium Gaming LLC as the winning bidder in the second of 10 blind auctions for the right to build a Category 4 mini-casino.
The company’s bid of $40,100,005 was the highest of the four bids the PGCB received.
As the process goes forward and all of the prime locations are scooped up, the bids should continue to decline, and possibly dry up altogether.
The remaining auctions will take place on the following dates:
Stadium Gaming selected Derry Township in Westmoreland County as the center-point of its target area. Stadium Gaming can place its Category 4 casino in any authorized location within a 10-mile radius of the precise latitude-longitude intersect it selected.
The location is just over an hour drive from Pittsburgh, about 40 miles east of the city.
If you’re not familiar with Stadium Gaming, that’s because the company doesn’t currently operate a casino in Pennsylvania.
Stadium Gaming will operate the yet-to-be-built second Philadelphia casino, tentatively known as Live! Hotel Casino Philadelphia. The casino was given the go-ahead to begin construction after SugarHouse Casino dropped its lawsuit in November.
The company is a partnership consisting of Live! casino operator The Cordish Company and Greenwood Gaming, which owns and operates Parx Casino.
Satellite casinos were part of a comprehensive gaming reform bill passed last year that was designed to help fund the state’s budget.
Pennsylvania was aiming for a first-year haul of around $225 million from these reforms and expansions. It looks like the state will blow that number out of the water.
Pennsylvania has already brought in over $90 million from the mini-casino auctions – far more than even the most ambitious estimates projected.
With as many as eight more auctions to go, it’s conceivable (but unlikely) that satellite casino licenses alone could allow PA to come close to the $225 million target.
A more realistic number for mini-casinos would be around $125- $150 million, as the worth of each subsequent Category 4 casino will shrink with each auction.
But Category 4 casinos weren’t supposed to be the big ticket item in the gaming reform package. That honor went to online gambling, which is expected to pad the state’s ledger with at least $100 million from licensing fee payments this year.
With online gambling licensing payments still to come, and Category 4 casinos over-performing, those two items should get the state to its revenue target.
That means Pennsylvania is playing with house money when it comes to: