Mount Airy Casino has been eyeing the prospects of bringing a mini-casino to Beaver County. This was the second attempt at introducing gambling to both Beaver and Lawrence counties but just like the first attempt, it has failed miserably. On Thursday, November 20, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) denied Mount Airy Casino’s proposal to set up a mini-casino in the Big Beaver borough. The casino operator will therefore not be receiving the license necessary to proceed with its plans.
As it turns out, the gaming control board’s reason for denying the application was because the casino operator had failed to secure the necessary funding to warrant the approval of the application. In essence, this failure made the proposed project seem inviable and therefore the members of the board did not see the point of going through with it.
“Mount Airy does not contest OEC’s recommendation of denial and their application based on the threshold issue of their financial suitability for the Big Beaver project,” Douglas Sherman, a member of the board said.
As if the denial of the license was not enough, the members of the PGCB also went on to decree that the Mount Airy proposal was the last that would be accepted for the establishment of a category 4 satellite casino in Beaver County. The area’s residents will, therefore, have to settle for visiting gambling facilities in neighboring areas.
Big Blow for Beaver County
While Mount Airy has missed out on a great opportunity to extend its footprint in the Keystone State, Beaver County seems to have lost more. According to Todd Greenberg, Mount Airy Casino Resort’s chief operating officer and general manager, the failure of the license application was due to interference by some recent court rulings as well as increased competition.
A number of new casinos and hospitality facilities have cropped up in surrounding areas and these gave Mount Airy a run for their money hence their inability to raise enough funds for the project. The court ruling mentioned above was the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on the local share assessment.
Had everything gone as planned, Mount Airy would have been able to set up its satellite facility in a 100-acre piece of land close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 376. This would facility would be big enough to host a total of 30 table games, a whopping 750 slot machines as well as three restaurants. Hopefully, the casino operator and the county officials will be able to work something out in order to ensure that the purchased property is put into good use.