Pennsylvania’s finally back on the schedule of mini-casino auctions which are expected to bring more revenue to the gambling industry and benefit the region’s financial state. This Wednesday brought the long-anticipated fifth auction for a satellite casino venue and after a month delay, the casino license went to gambling developer Penn National Gaming Inc.
The fifth mini-casino auction which took place yesterday was expected to attract a wider interest from casino operators then the previous ones did and this was due to the wider range of participants which were allowed to take part in it. The state was willing to open the auctions to a broader audience, as casino developers which have won in previous meetings were also welcome to participate again. The operators of Valley Forge Casino Resort and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, which are smaller gambling facilities in the state were allowed to place a bid as well.
However, the interest levels towards this fifth casino auction turned out being as low as possible, as the only bidder which claimed its spot was Penn National. It should be taken into account that since the first auction took place, fewer and fewer participants are willing to place their bets and with that their proposed bids are decreasing as well. The low level of interest went so far as to render the last scheduled auction without any participants, which led to more delays in the following weeks.
Penn’s Previous Auctions Experience
In this sense, this Wednesday’s lack of participation was not that unexpected and Penn National had the chance to acquire a second mini-casino license from Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The minimum bid which is acceptable for all bids is $7.5 million and keeping that in mind the casino developer proposed $ 7,500,003, adding only $3 over the minimum amount. Being the only bidder present at the auction this guaranteed the casino operator the opportunity to receive a mini-casino license on one of the smallest prizes up to this point.
This is a significant improvement for the operator, as it could be recalled that 10th January saw the official first mini-casino auction. Back then Penn National proposed as much as $50.1 million and nobody could top that sum up. As for the chosen region for construction of the fifth casino venue, the casino developer picked the area of West Cocalico Township in northeastern Lancaster County. With this choice, Penn National reserves a 15-mile radius around West Cocalico, which is located about 14 miles southwest of downtown Reading.
The following six months will be dedicated to the choosing of the official location of the new mini-casino venue, as well as the final submission of Penn’s application for the mini-casino license. Over the span of the first five auctions, a total of $127 million was generated from the winning bids, which is more than the initially estimated $100 million for all ten of the mini-casino licenses. The sixth auction is scheduled to take place on 18th April and Penn National will again have the right to participate.