Lack of interest thwarts latest Pennsylvania casino auction

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday received no bidders for a casino license auction

Pennsylvania gaming

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Lack of interest has thwarted Pennsylvania’s latest casino expansion attempt.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday received no bidders for a casino license auction ordered by lawmakers as part of an aggressive gambling expansion launched by a cash-hungry state government.

Areas still open for casino development include portions of Lawrence, Butler and Beaver counties, among others, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Pennsylvania is already the nation’s No. 1 state in tax revenue from casino gambling. But lawmakers in 2017 authorized the auction of 10 mini-casino licenses to help plug a budget hole.

The first five auctions raised $127 million. Wednesday’s auction was the gaming board’s second unsuccessful attempt to auction a sixth license, and there are to be no further auctions under current law.

The auction was limited to owners of Pennsylvania’s full-size casinos. Minimum bids were set at $7.5 million and potential locations were limited to parts of northern and central Pennsylvania.

No further auctions are to be conducted if an auction fails to generate a bid, the board stated.

Pennsylvania took in over $281 million in casino revenue in July, up from $278 million in July 2018.

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