Partner in South Philly casino wins bid for smaller gaming venue near Harrisburg

A partner in the planned casino and hotel complex in South Philadelphia’s sports stadium district has won a bid for a license to operate a smaller gaming venue outside Harrisburg after regulators threw out a higher offer by the Las Vegas Sands Corp. subsidiary that operates Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

Bensalem-based Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc., which is developing the Stadium Casino project at  900 Packer Ave. with Cordish Cos. of Baltimore, bid $8.11 million for the “Category 4” gaming license, with plans for a casino in or near South Newton Township, Cumberland County, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said in a release Thursday.

Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC bid $9.89 million for the permit at the Wednesday auction, but the location it proposed would have intruded on the buffer zone for a site close to the Ohio border in or near New Castle, Lawrence County, already awarded to the owner of the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono.

Wednesday’s “Category 4” auction was the fourth for the state’s 10 satellite casino licenses made available through the gambling expansion bill passed last year. Holders of the license can operate between 300 and 750 slot machines, with the possibility of adding up to 40 table games for another $2.5 million.

Greenwood, owned by businessman Watche “Bob” Manoukian, also operates the Parx Casino in Bensalem. The company’s South Philadelphia venture with Cordish, Stadium Casino LLC, entered a winning bid of $40.1 million for a satellite casino outside Pittsburgh in the state’s second “Category 4” auction last month.

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