Pennsylvania to unseal first bids in casino expansion

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania gambling regulators are preparing to auction the first of 10 mini-casino licenses as the state government looks for cash to patch up a budget deficit.

FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, file photo shows the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Bids from the state’s existing casino owners will be unsealed Wednesday by Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board officials. Bids start at $7.5 million to operate 750 slot machines and the winner can buy a separate certificate for $2.5 million to operate 30 table games.

Bidders also must pick a location. Pennsylvania already rakes in more tax revenue from gambling than any other state.

More: Highlights of Pennsylvania’s casino gambling expansion bill

Sen. Mario Scavello, whose committee handles gambling legislation, says he thinks casino owners will seek locations alongside major highways.

Alan Woinski of Gaming USA Corp., a New Jersey-based consultancy, says it’ll be difficult for casino owners to find a good location, since the law put many areas off-limits.