Last Thursday, the operator of Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County won a casino bidding process for the construction of Pennsylvania’s third mini-casino. The operator unveiled its plans to build the gambling facility in Lawrence County, announcing New Castle as the preferred location. This Tuesday, Lawrence County Commissioner Chairman Dan Vogler announced that the final decision about the precise location of the mini-casino is yet to be taken, but the county commissioners will do what is needed to convince the company to build its mini-casino within Lawrence County’s limits.
Last year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law a major gambling expansion bill to help plug the budget’s $2 billion gap. Among all other things, the gambling expansion plan allowed the state’s ten largest casinos to open new mini-casinos. Feelings about whether to welcome a new mini-casino, or ban the gambling parlors from their borders, have been mixed in municipalities across the state. Government leaders and residents were tasked with weighing the pros and cons of hosting a mini-casino and decide if they would like to have one in their backyards.
While some municipalities decided to close their borders for the mini-casinos, many others decided to benefit from the opportunity and use the gambling parlors as an additional source of revenues. Under regulations developed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, host municipalities will receive 1% of the casino’s gross gaming revenue. That stimulated many municipalities to participate in the bid for hosting a mini-casino.
Where Exactly Mount Airy Will Build Its Mini-Casino?
With a bid of $21,188,888.88, the company behind Mount Airy Casino Resort the bidding procedure related to the construction of Pennsylvania’s third mini-casino. Even though the company pinpointed New Castle as the preferred site for its casino venture, the exact location of the Category 4 mini-casino may be anywhere within a 15-mile radius of the heart of the downtown. In other words, the mini-casino can be located in northern Beaver, eastern Butler or southeastern Mercer counties.
Speculations about the exact location of the third mini-casino have started to swirl around. Vogler took the opportunity to remind that the casino developers have six months to submit their application and documents. The commissioner elaborated that Lawrence County “will not play favorites of one municipality over another”. Vogler explained that it is up to the company where to build its mini-casino venture.
Commissioner Steve Craig commented that the county will fairly compete with the other counties to host one of the small casinos recently authorized by the state legislature. He stated that the competition will be tough as the mini-casino offers broad economic benefits to its host.