The mini-casino license auctions continue in the state of Pennsylvania and the latest development of events offered a roller coaster of happenings over the pan of only six hours. This Wednesday brought the news that Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has granted Mercer County with the fourth mini-casino license and the right to construct it in the area. However, shortly after that, there was an announcement that the said bid has been officially annulled.
While the auction was in progress a couple of gambling operators made their bids to become the next developer in the area of Mercer County, but the one that proposed the largest amount of money was Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC. The said bid reached $9.8 million and the casino operator picked the location of Hempfield Township in order to build its new satellite gambling facility. The Las Vegas-based company oversees the operation of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, so this move could have resulted in the operation expansion into Western Pennsylvania.
As it was stated in the bid, the new facility would have been constructed within 15 miles of a geographic center point identified just east of Greenville. The official location was to be officially announced within the following six months. However, things did not go the way the developer has planned them to go and things took a quick turn for the worse. Peggy Mazyck from the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau said that she was surprised by the sudden change of plans and contacted the gaming authority responsible for the license issuing.
Reason for Invallidation of the Bid
According to the state control board, the proposed location turned out being unfit for the construction of the new satellite casino, as it crossed over into Mount Airy’s protected territory. After the careful assessment of the authority, this meant that the bid should be considered invalid. The reason for the controversy is that this area which had previously been secured by the winning proposal made from Mount Airy to build a mini casino in Lawrence County. As it could be recalled this was the third successful bid for mini-casino.
At the beginning of February, the bidder filing in the largest proposed amount of money for construction was the management of the Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Pocono Mountains. The winning bid amounted to some $21.2 million and this secured the top position for the family which oversees the operation of the gambling resort over the rest of the entities willing to operate the third location. The satellite casino will be constructed in Lawrence County which was welcomed with great content by the community there.
One of the estimated sites for construction might be within 15 miles of New Castle. According to estimations of the operator, the new mini-casino will be able to attract gambling enthusiasts from as many as five other counties located in the vicinity of Lawrence County. In order to settle the situation, the gaming authority might give the second bidder a chance, but the final decision will be made this Thursday.