The state Gaming Control Board issued its first license for a mini-casino on Wednesday.
During an auction, Penn National Gaming submitted a winning bid of $50 million and now has the right to put up a casino in York County (in southeastern Pennsylvania). Penn National currently operates a full casino in suburban Harrisburg.
Wednesday’s auction was the first of 10 that will be held this year. Mini casinos will be about one-quarter the size of existing casinos, permitted to have up to 750 slot machines and roughly 30 table games.
Pennsylvania lawmakers decided last year to bring mini-casinos into the state to help bring in more money.
A mini casino could come into Butler County.
Lawmakers gave local communities the opportunity to opt out as a casino site last year. Some did and some did not.
In Butler County, 17 of the 57 municipalities voted to opt out, including places like Butler, Center and Cranberry townships. Other municipalities would be ineligible because of a “non-compete” area, meaning they are located too close to Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.
Still, there are several municipalities that are eligible for a casino site.
In this map, areas in blue are municipalities that have opted out as a casino site before the Dec. 31 deadline. The areas in yellow are are the non-compete areas that can’t hold a mini-casino license because they are less than 25 miles away from Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.