Pennsylvania Smaller Towns to Gain Satellite Casinos


In smaller municipalities and townships in Pennsylvania, some communities are accepting of allowing ‘satellite’ casinos in their towns. However, some of those towns that have attempted to attract casinos might be too small or far away from densely populated cities to attract investment from a bidding company, of which there are ten such licensed companies in Pennsylvania.

What Is a Satellite Casino?

A satellite casino has specific limits – such as having a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 750 slot machines, and up to 30 table-based games. Also, it must be built at least 25 miles away from one of Pennsylvania’s 12 presently existing casinos, unless the bidding company itself owns the casino in question.

Where Might the Casinos Be Built?

Presently, it is thought that the best town to build a new satellite casino is in Reading, where the city council and mayor are in favor of the motion.

Another town where the city council is supporting casino development is New Castle, which is situated in between two major highways: Interstate 80 and Pennsylvania Turnpike.

How Does the Bidding Process Work?

In January 2018, the auctioning process that will decide which towns are to receive casinos is expected to begin. Each of ten operating companies will send in a sealed bid amount, the minimum of which is allowed to be $7,500,000. Thereafter, the company making the highest offer will have the first choice of town that has opted in to receive bids.

It is thought that only the two towns mentioned above, New Castle and Reading are likely to receive casinos, because most of the other towns in Pennsylvania may not be worth paying the $7,500,000 licensing fee for – especially since another $2,500,000 will be required to license the tables in the casino, and then the companies will also have to pay the price of building the casino. State College, PA has opted out, and many Main Line Suburbs in Philadelphia have too.

Could Casinos End up Somewhere More Surprising?

After Reading and then New Castle, the most likely chance for the remaining prospects may be in Williamsport, York and Altoona. All three of these have satellite campuses from Pennsylvania State University, and have not yet opted out – they only have until January 1, 2018 to do so. Even Ridgway, with 3,836 people living there, has opted in, and their mayor supports having a new casino.