Gambling regulators in the state of Pennsylvania recently rejected the proposal for a mini-casino. The decision comes after the winning bidder for the project backed out because of financial issues.
The Mount Airy dream won’t come true
If built, the mini-casino would have attracted gamblers in the western border of the state adjoining Ohio, bringing in some much-needed gambling revenue. However, on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board denied the application for the casino.
Last year, the owners of Mount Airy Casino Resort in Pocono Mountains big $21.2 million to receive a license to operate the casino. They also selected an undeveloped parcel of land located near the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Beaver County. After the rejection, the company has forfeited a quarter of the amount it bid.
Officials at Mount Airy confirmed that they did not have enough cash to finance the mini-casino project. They also failed to secure lending pacts from financial institutions that could have funded their activities. The mini-casino was one of the 10 licenses up for auction in the state.
The problems started long ago
Though the issues were only exposed publicly this week, the mini-casino has been facing an air of uncertainty for a long time. It is interesting to note that Mount Airy did not rebuff against the regulator’s decision. The board didn’t have any long discussions about the fate of the casino. Instead, they only formalized the decision that seemed imminent in the wake of Mount Airy’s constant financial issues.
The casino operator first told the board about its financial issues on July 1 this year. The staff had already decided to recommend the board to deny their license in late August but waited for two more months before forwarding the matter to the regulator.
It is unclear exactly what financial roadblocks the operator faced and why. The company officials are not addressing questions about denial. However, it’s COO Todd Greenberg said that they are disappointed that the mini-casino couldn’t see the light of the day. He also mentioned that the decision had no impact on their Poconos casino, which was “doing quite well.”
The board has a completely different opinion about Mount Airy’s financials. It suggests that the operator is facing reduced growth in its revenues. The board states that several lenders who received interest from Greenberg were hesitant in funding their project. They were worried about the recent failures of similar projects in other areas and didn’t want to get burned.