More than 50% of the municipalities located in Berks County, have turned down the idea of furthering Pennsylvania’s gambling expansion by becoming home to a satellite casino. The list of the state’s towns and municipalities which have preferred to opt out from becoming a possible location for a mini-casino is becoming longer by the hour, especially considering the fact that last week the supervisors of Exeter Township also said no to a satellite casino establishment.
As revealed by the Gaming Control Board of Pennsylvania, to date, the total number of Berks County municipalities that have chosen not to become in the state’s gambling expansion to date is 36, including Shillington, West Reading, Kutztown and Wyomissing.
Of course, it would be the top bidders in the upcoming bidding process that would get the first chance to add a mini-casino. Winning bidders would then be given six months to offer an exact location for a satellite casino. As revealed by the Penn National’s spokesman Eric Schippers, the minimum bid for the mini-casinos would amount to $10.5 million.
For the time being, a large number of Pennsylvania towns already turned their backs on mini-casinos in the state, with Lancaster County fully blocking the chance for gambling expansion, following the decision of every municipality situated in the county to prohibit satellite casinos. Boroughs, towns and municipalities across the state have been given until December 31st to make a decision if they would consider the idea of adding a mini-casino or not. Even in case they chose to turn their backs on the gambling expansion, they will later be able to reverse their resolution in case they decide otherwise.
Satellite Casinos to Be Added to State’s Gambling Landscape
Mini-casinos, or satellite casinos, are to become part of the gambling expansion that has recently been given the green light by Pennsylvania’s competent authorities. At the end of October 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that officially allowed up to ten new mini-casinos to be built on the territory of the state. The Gaming Control Board is to give the start of the bidding process for satellite casinos on January 10th. Even more interesting is the fact that Pennsylvania towns were given the opportunity to opt out from this opportunity, blocking the chance for hosting mini-casinos.
Saying no to the planned gambling expansion is to prevent developers from proposing a casino to be built on the territory of a certain township or a borough.
Apart from mini-casinos, the state of Pennsylvania gave the green light also to online gambling, becoming the fourth US state that would offer Internet gambling services along with Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. In addition, state authorities allowed gambling at truck stops and airports, where interactive gambling parlors and video gaming terminals would be featured.
The gambling expansion came as part of the state’s efforts to deal with the financial deficit in the struggling state budget, with local legislators hoping for the gambling expansion to bring additional revenue to Pennsylvania over the upcoming years.