$21M Bid Wins Mini-Casino for New Castle Area

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo welcomed news yesterday morning that the New Castle area had been selected for a potential mini-casino.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today held the third in a series of auctions in a process that establishes the order in which the winning bidders select a location for a Category 4 casino.

“We’re extremely thrilled about it,” Mastrangelo says.

In the public bid opening, in which three bids were received, Mount Airy #1, LLC, which operates the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, was the high bidder with a bid of $21.19 million. New Castle is at the center of the Category 4 location chosen by Mount Airy, an area 30 miles in diameter.

Sites in York County and Westmoreland County were chosen during the first two auctions, held last month.

“We were surprised that we were number three in the auction,” the mayor said.

A Category 4 Slot Machine License would permit Mount Airy to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines. It also could 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 table games after its first year of operation.

Mount Airy must pay the bid price to the commonwealth within two business days. It then has up to six months to submit an application for the Category 4 Slot Machine License. The application must 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.

“We want it in the city of New Castle” as opposed to one of the surrounding townships in Lawrence County, Mastrangelo said. The city sent Mount Airy a “packet of information” including regarding potential sites for the casino.

New Castle is an Act 47 financially distressed community, and the tax revenue the casino would generate “would put us in good stead,” he said.

The Gaming Control Board plans to hold its next public auction Feb. 21. The auction will be streamed live from the board’s web site. Subsequent auctions are planned every two weeks thereafter on Wednesdays at the same time and location.

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