Las Vegas Sands loses in Pennsylvania after costly goof

Last week, Las Vegas Sands executives were happily reporting the approval of their bid to build a fourth casino in Pennsylvania.  The casino giant won the license to build in the western part of Mercer County in an auction after placing a $9.9-billion bid.  Unfortunately, someone at the company didn’t perform the necessary due diligence, and that winning bid has now been yanked by gaming officials with the Gaming Control Board (GCB). 

The GCB determined that the site chosen for the casino was in an area that overlapped a previously-awarded license for a Category 4 satellite casino near Gettysburg, PA.  That license was won by Mount Airy #1 LLC in an earlier auction, and gaming regulations prevent two casinos from being erected in close proximity to each other.  Due to the snafu, the license was awarded to the second-highest bidder, Greenwood Gaming.

Greenwood, which owns the Parx Casino, will spend $8.1 million for the license, a price that’s much lower than the bid presented by Sands.  The new licensee chose a spot about 45 miles west of Penn National’s Hollywood Casino, and 35 miles west of York County, where Penn will build a Category 4 casino after paying $50.1 million to secure a license in the first GCB auction.  The Greenwood location is also located near popular tourist destination Gettysburg.

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