HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state’s latest attempts to raise funds by selling mini-casino licenses comes to an end as their latest auction yielded no bids.
The sell of casino licenses is apart of legislation that aimed towards aggressively expanding the number of casinos in Pennsylvania, signed by Governor Tom Wolf.
Pennsylvania currently leads the country in tax revenue from casino gambling. Lawmakers in 2017 wanted to capitalize and plug a budget hole by authorizing the auction of 10 mini-casino licenses.
The sales began with a hot start and a winning bid of $50.1 million; the cost of bids dwindled until the first no-bid auction occurred April of 2018.
Penn National made the whopping first winning bid, likely to secure its customer base near Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County and expanding to the new location in York.
The state was still able to raise $127 million in bids, easily surpassing the $100 million estimate if all the auctions were held.
Wednesday’s auction was the gaming board’s second unsuccessful attempt to auction the sixth license.
The no-bid forced the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to cancel its latest mini-casino auction and any additional auctions for the remaining five licenses.
The “mini-casinos” are allowed to have 300-750 slot machines in addition to 30 table games.
The auction was limited to incumbent owners of Pennsylvania’s full-size casinos and minimum bids were set at $7.5 million; potential locations were limited to parts of northern and central Pennsylvania.