Rush Street Wins PA Mini-Casino

Ira Lubert (l.), a principal in the Rush Street Gaming subsidiary that holds the license for Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino, submitted a winning bid of $10 million for the state’s fifth Category 4 satellite casino.

Ira Lubert, a principal in Rush Street Gaming subsidiary Holdings Acquisitions Co., LP, operator of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, won Pennsylvania’s fifth license to operate a Category 4 “mini-casino” last week, with a bid of just over $10 million.

The winning bid gives Lubert the right to select a location for the satellite casino, which will be within a 15-mile radius of Unionville Borough in Centre County, in the middle of the state near Penn State University. The license, auctioned at last week’s meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, was originally awarded to Mount Airy Casino, but the license was subsequently withdrawn.

Last week’s auction jump-started the bidding process for Category 4 casinos, created under Pennsylvania’s 2017 gaming expansion law. Category 4 casinos are limited to 750 slots and 40 table games, and must be tied to a current casino license. After the first five auctions in 2018 yielded declining bid values—the first license went for more than $50 million; the last, for $1 over the $7.5 million minimum—the board held two auctions which yielded no bids before suspending the process last year.

Lubert was required to pay the bid price to the commonwealth within two business days, and then has up to six months to submit an application for the Category 4 Slot Machine License.

The application will 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. Once the application is received and determined to be complete, the board will post public information about the project on its website.

The board has not been authorized to conduct any additional Category 4 auctions as of now.