Pennsylvania’s having a rough time finding takers for its casino licenses. The sovereign approved gambling expansion in 2017 that allows up to ten Category 4 satellites, and the first five went relatively quickly. However, the last two auctions that have been carried to sell a license, in addition with one that just completed, have been anything but victorious. It’s becoming more strenuous for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to find someone inclined to spend $7.5 million to open a casino in the state.
An auction has been held by PGCB yesterday in Harrisburg, which only lasted about a single minute, and didn’t acquire a single bid that met the $7.5-million minimum requisite. The state has 12 land-based commercial casinos, with a 13th under construction, and, in accordance to Pennsylvania’s gaming laws, only currently licensed operators are acceptable to compete for a satellite. Of the five satellite licenses already issued, Penn National has two and Stadium Casino, Mount Airy Casino Resort and Parx Casino have one each. However, none of those facilities has yet opened and two of the licenses have been formally acceppted by the PGCB.
May be it is time for Pennsylvania to appraise its casino market full. In fact, lawmakers proceeds a resolution earlier this year that says that the PGCB can’t propose any additional auctions if a specific round doesn’t generate at least one minimum bid. The rounds had been scheduled to take place from September 4 to December 31, with yesterday’s auction being the first. With no subsisting casinos acknowledging to the latest auction, it is perceptible that they, too, believe the market is complete.
In addition to the satellite casinos being allowed through the Expanded Gaming Act of 2017, truck stops and airports can offer gaming lounges, and online casinos are now legal. The act also paved the way for sports gambling and daily fantasy sports. Mobile sportsbooks are now beginning to appear in the state and the satellites will be able to offer sports gambling activity, as well, provided they pay the requisite $10-million fee.
When the PGCB granted the first five satellite casino licenses, $127.7 million in proceeds for the state was generated. While current laws order that no more auctions be held because of the lack of interest, it’s very much realizable that, mayhap next year or the year after, lawmakers change the language and allow an outsider to come in once the expanded gambling operations stabilize, particularly if they notice that the casinos are performing better than expected.