July 10, 2020 3 min read


Pennsylvania’s Casino License Auction Set for September 2

A casino license auction in Pennsylvania is due on September 2. The news came after Mount Airy Casino wasn’t able to fund its project and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided to auction it again.

Lawmakers Put Back One Casino License in Pennsylvania for Auction

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has announced that it will conduct an auction for a casino license in the state on September 2. The casino license is actually one out of the total ten available for the state. However, lawmakers are putting back the auction for the license, as the company which previously won it, wasn’t able to fund its project. This license was previously won by Mount Airy Casino in Mount Pocono but as noted, the company did not raise the needed funding for its project. Mount Airy Casino received 75% of the bid amount as a refund and the state lawmakers put the license back for auction. Keeping in mind the negative impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania, state officials are clearly looking for some fresh funds.

Licensed state casinos which would like to participate in September’s bid must present a firm location for the planned venue. This location must be at least 40 miles from another casino or another casino project. The winner of the bid will be allowed to build a gaming venue with no more than 750 slot machines and 30 table games. However, after the first year of operations, table games may be increased to 40. The minimum starting bid is $7.5 million.

The Keystone State Planned for 10 Casino License Auctions but Achieved Only 5

The Gaming Act in Pennsylvania was signed into law back in 2017. Once this was done, in January 2018, the Keystone State started organizing live auctions for licensing. Four operators were awarded licenses. However, the fifth auction which was planned did not receive any bids. This pushed the state lawmakers change the terms and conditions allowing companies who currently have a license to participate in the fifth bid. By April 2018, the fifth license was won, by Penn National. This was the second license that the gaming giant had won in Pennsylvania.

Now that the bid for Mount Airy failed, news outlets report that Mercer County might be a prospect site for a future casino. This is mainly because the county is located more than 40 miles from any other casino or planned project. Turning our eyes to the remaining five licenses which are yet unclaimed we can say that their faith remains unclear.

Elsewhere in the United States, more casino operators are reopening their doors. Most states issued a mandatory shut down back in March in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Keeping that in mind over the recent months more operators are reopening their venues following strict post-COVID-19 protocols. Looking at data from the American Gaming Association (AGA) we see that by now 839 tribal and commercial casinos have reopened. On the other hand, some 150 tribal and commercial venues remain closed at the moment.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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