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Las Vegas Sands fails with Pennsylvania mini-casino bid

A winning bid submitted by worldwide casino developer Las Vegas Sands Corporation to build a fourth mini-casino in Pennsylvania has been invalidated by state gaming regulators following a row over the location of the new proposed mini-casino.

pennsylvaniafine

In a statement, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said that it had been forced to reject the bid, submitted by Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC, a subsidiary of the group due to its infringement on the 15 mile buffer zone surrounding the third proposed mini-casino, won by the Mount Airy Group.

The $9.9m winning bid from Las Vegas Sands would have been located on a site in Hempfield Township near Mercer County. The third proposed mini-casino, run by Mount Airy is slated for development in neighbouring Lawrence County, an area extremely close to Mercer County.

Under Pennsylvania Act 42, category 4 casinos can only be situated in “a specific geographic point established by geographic coordinates in this Commonwealth with a 15-linear mile radius”.

The regulations additionally stipulate that “a Category 4 facility may not be located within 25 miles of another licensed PA casino (Category 1, 2, or 3), except if the location is within 25 miles of the winning bidder's own licensed facility”.

As a result, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation bid has been declared invalid and state regulators will meet today in order to confirm if they will accept the second unsuccessful bid, submitted by Parx Casino.

No statement has been made by Las Vegas Sands Corporation following the dismissal of its winning bid.

Pennsylvania is almost mid-way through the process to auction ten licences to build mini-casinos in the state.  The auction is only open to the state's 11 casino operators, who can submit bids to open a facility comprising 750 slot machines and licence holders have the opportunity to pay an additional $2.5m for the right to operate 30 table games.

Auctions for the first three licences have raised $112m for the state, with the three winning mini-casino bids coming from Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC, which submitted a $50m bid to build a mini-casino in York County, Stadium Casino, LLC which submitted a $40m bid to build a mini-casino in Westmoreland County and the aforementioned Mount Airy casino licence, which cost them a relatively cheap $21m.


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