The state of Pennsylvania is looking forward to the fifth mini-casino auction which is expected to attract a wider interest from casino operators then the previous ones did. During its casino auction hiatus, the gambling field in the state has been working towards the already approved for mini-casino construction and the one in Mercer County has attracted the community’s attention in particular.
It could be recalled that the saga with Mercer Count began in February when 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 was officially annulled. The casino developer that proposed the largest amount of money was Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC, as 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 official location was to be officially announced within the following six months, but as it turned out the bid was considered invalid as it interfered with the area previously secured by the winning proposal made from Mount Airy to build a mini casino in Lawrence County. However, in an unexpected turn of events Las Vegas Sands Corp. sold its existing gambling location in the state and as this is the parent company of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem this resulted in the bidder exiting the auctioning process.
Timeline of the Events
Back in February when the news about the winning bid became public, the county welcomed it with anticipation as the region could benefit from the introduction of a new gambling facility. More than a month later the chance of satellite casino venue being constructed there are close to none and this is not well-accepted by the community.
However, there are still opportunities for development in this field, as there are six more auctions left which will take place every two weeks over the span of the next several months. This month is supposed to see the fifth mini-casino auction which is going to take place this week following several postponings and schedule delays, as well as its last unsuccessful attempt.
Sands Bethlehem will not be participating in the said bid, as it is going to petition the state of Pennsylvania to renew its gambling license and reserve five more years of operation in the state. According to the estimations, the sale of Sands Bethlehem facility to a Native American tribe which goes by the name of Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the largest sale in the Lehigh Valley’s casino sector up to this point.
In this fifth bid, the state is willing to open the auctions to a broader audience, as casino developers which have won in previous meetings will be allowed to participate again. The operators of Valley Forge Casino Resort and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, which are smaller gambling facilities in the state will also be allowed to place a bid.