Tuesday, 21 November 2017 19:00

Pennsylvania Gambling Act Amendments Affect Mount Airy Casino

On October 30, 2017, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 271 into law as Act 42. The law amends the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Among the amendments, Act 42 authorizes interactive gaming (“iGaming”), video gaming terminals (“VGTs”) at truck stops, internet lottery (“iLottery”), tablet gaming at airports, fantasy sports contests, and ancillary slot machine facilities. (source)

Related to the Mount Airy Casino, the law also recently granted a larger buffer zone, where no other casinos can open in a county contiguous to Mount Airy (Pike, Wayne, Carbon, Lackawanna, Northampton).  (source)

This gives Mount Airy Casino, a Category 2 casino, the ability to bid on Category 4 "Ancillary" licenses, meaning they could set up slot machines and other types of gambling on properties in Pike, Wayne, Carbon, Lackawanna, and Northampton counties.  In Barrett, specifically, this means they could set up slot machines at Buck Hill Falls or Skytop.  

Category 4 'Ancillary' Licenses

  • Successive competitive bidding for up to 10 locations
    • The Board will conduct separate auctions for each of the 10 licenses
    • Minimum bid: $ 7.5 million
    • Initial rounds will be open to Category 1 and 2 licensees (only 1 per licensee in first round)
    • Initial auctions occur between January 15 and July 31, 2018
    • If all 10 licenses are not awarded during the initial round of auctions, the Board may allow Category 1, 2, and 3 or other qualified entities to bid
      • A non-licensee winning bidder is subject to a $10,000 fee per slot machine
  • Winning bidders are entitled to select an exclusive location with a 15-mile radius
  • Category 4 facility may not be located within 25-mile radius of an existing casino (unless winning bidder owns the existing casino)
  • Category 4 licensees may operate 300 to 750 slots (from existing authorization)
  • A Category 4 licensee may petition for a table game certificate to operate up to 30 table games (expandable to 40 after 1 year)
    • Table game certificate fee: $2.5 million
  • Tax rate:
    • Slots: 50% tax + 4% LSA
    • Table games: 12% tax + 2% LSA
  • Municipalities may opt out by December 31, 2017