Updated! Ira Lubert Wins Pennsylvania Category 4 Casino Auction Award
Gaming Control Board verifies legal placement of reserved area (Updated section below in italics)
HARRISBURG, PA: Ira Lubert, who is currently licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in connection with an ownership interest with Holdings Acquisitions Co., LP, operator of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, today won the award to select a location for a Category 4 casino in an auction conducted prior to the Board’s public meeting.
Mr. Lubert’s bid amount of $10,000,101, one of two bids received for today’s auction, secured a location for placement of a Category 4 casino in a 15-mile radius area with a center point in Unionville Borough in Centre County.
The Board staff has confirmed that the coordinates, submitted with the winning bid to identify the center point, satisfy the statutory criteria for placement of the Category 4 location. Those coordinates are:
This auction was held to carry out provisions in Act 23 of 2020 which directed the Board to conduct one auction for the Category 4 slot machine license previously applied for by Mount Airy Casino Resorts, but which was subsequently denied. Four other Category 4 licenses were awarded in 2018 auctions with three of those under construction.
Mr. Lubert is required to pay the bid price to the Commonwealth within two business days, and then has up to six months to submit an application for the Category 4 Slot Machine License.
The application will contain the precise site of the proposed Category 4 casino, as well as detailed plans and information concerning the proposed building plan, amenities, employment projections and other related information. Once the application is received and determined to be complete, the Board will post public information about the project on its website for interested persons to review.
A Category 4 Slot Machine License would permit the entity to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines. The entity could also petition for permission to initially operate up to 30 table games for an additional fee of $2.5 million with the capability of adding an additional 10 tables games after its first year of operation.
The Board has not been authorized to conduct any additional Category 4 auctions.
The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The Board will announce prior to that date whether the meeting will be held online or in the PGCB’s Public Hearing Room located on the second floor of the Strawberry Square Complex in Harrisburg.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of gambling legalized under 2004’s Race Horse Development and Gaming Act and the Gaming Expansion Act of 2017. In addition to slot machine and table games gambling at land-based casinos, the expansion includes online casino games available to date on 11 sites; sports wagering offered through sportsbooks at 12 retail locations and through nine online outlets; video gaming terminals (VGTs) offered as of this date at 36 qualified truck stops; and, fantasy sports contests through eight providers.
The mature land-based casino industry in Pennsylvania currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos. These facilities collectively employ over 16,000 people and, along with other types of Board-regulated gaming, annually generate over $1.5 billion in tax revenue. Construction of a 13th casino is currently underway along with a number of new “mini-casinos” expected to begin operation over the next couple of years.
Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/ You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.