State considers next move on gaming expansion

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is deciding whether to expand who can win a mini-casino license.

The state received no bids for a sixth mini-casino license at an auction Wednesday.

“You have to get this done right. You can’t just open the bottle until the wine is ready to be opened,” board spokesman Doug Harbach said.

The Gaming Control Board could walk away from the table. Mini-casino auctions have raised over $127 million, more than the state bargained for. The board could also bet on out-of-state casino owners or non-casino businesses.

“Who will they be? Who will we accept? Who do we believe would be able to bid and build a small casino?” Harbach said.

It’s unclear when the board will decide if it’s all in or all bets are off the table, but the clock is ticking for the first five bidders to find an exact spot for their mini-casinos.

“The law says they have six months to get an application to us after the auction. They also get two extension months if they request it and the board gives it to them,” Harbach said.

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