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

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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 gaming board a day earlier invalidated the highest bid of almost $9.9 million by Las Vegas Sands Corp. because the casino giant selected a location in western Pennsylvania that's too close under state law to another prospective casino site.

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.

The company must pay the bid within two days, and make an application to the state within six months for a category four slot machine license. As it could be recalled this was the third successful bid for mini-casino.

South Newton Township opted out. But others in Cumberland County, including some next to South Newton, did not.

Collectively, winning companies have bid almost $120 million for the right to build four mini-casinos.

While Schippers wouldn't address potential cannibalization on Thursday, the company did file a federal lawsuit in January claiming the gambling expansion law leaves its Harrisburg-area casino uniquely vulnerable to the poaching of its customers by new "mini-casinos". Those casinos are to be built in York, Westmoreland and Lawrence counties. Stadium Casino is a joint venture between The Cordish Cos. and Greenwood. 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. New Castle and Hempfield are less than 30 linear miles apart, meaning the 15-mile zone Sands wanted to claim overlapped with one already claimed by Mount Airy, in violation of provisions in the gambling expansion law signed previous year.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has yet to provide a comment since its bid was invalidated.

This story will be updated.