Winning Bid Thrown Out In Pa. Mini-Casino License Auction

Heather Ainsworth  AP

Heather Ainsworth AP

After the winning $9.9 million bid of Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC was invalidated on Wednesday because its selected location in western Pennsylvania was too close to a competitor, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Thursday announced the operator of Parx Casino in Bucks County as the victor of the fourth auction.

Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment was outbid for the fourth mini-casino license, but Wednesday's auction was later deemed invalid. Penn National bid $50.1 million.

Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc.'s bid amount of $8,111,000 secured a location for placement of a Category 4 casino in a 15-mile radius area with a center point in South Newton Township in Cumberland County. They can have 750 slot machines and license holders can pay another $2.5 million to operate 30 table games.

The mini-casino license auctions continue in the state of Pennsylvania and the latest development of events offered a roller coaster of happenings over the pan of only six hours.

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In terms of Parx's selected location of South Newton, it doesn't intrude upon any other zone already reserved. The Las Vegas-based company oversees the operation of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, so this move could have resulted in the operation expansion into Western Pennsylvania. High bidder Las Vegas Sands wanted a location in Mercer County, along the OH border, that was too close to a location picked by the victor of a previous auction.

The Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC originally won the license with a $9.9 million bid Wednesday. Peggy Mazyck from the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau said that she was surprised by the sudden change of plans and contacted the gaming authority responsible for the license issuing.

This story will be updated.

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