When online casino and poker gaming was legalized in the state of Pennsylvania, proponents rejoiced! The state will now become the 4th in the US to legalize and regulate online gaming. Along with the passage of iGaming, the state will be expanding further, including the creation of as many as ten satellite casinos. The gaming package that was passed just a few weeks ago will allow mini casinos to be constructed, with a requirement that the new venues be located at least 25 miles from the existing casinos in operation in the state. In the beginning, a few municipalities decided to opt out of hosting one of the mini gaming venues. Now it seems more than 130 townships have decided to not become involved with the gaming industry.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The remaining municipalities have until the end of the year to decide if they want to opt out. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has a running tally as to who has opted out. Most of the areas that have decided to not become involved in the industry are located in Lancaster and Chester counties. Lancaster County is not really a surprise as it is known as Amish country which is not an area that would be welcome to gambling.
In Lancaster, the only gambling currently available can be found operated by Penn National. The company has been considering taking action against the state as they feel their gaming venue, Hollywood Casino, is less protected than the other casinos in the state when it comes to competition from satellite casinos.
Bucks County’s Parx Casino
Other counties are deciding to opt out to stay loyal to the gaming venues that already operate in their region. Municipalities already earn revenues from such gaming venues and this could put their earnings at risk. Take for example Parx Casino, located in Bucks County. Townships in this region are saying know as they already earn good tax benefits from the casino.
It will be interesting to see as the year comes to an end if more municipalities decide to opt out and which, if any, want to play host to the mini casino option.