Pennsylvania Casino Operator Mount Airy Announces Satellite Venue in Beaver County

Posted on: August 7, 2018, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: August 7, 2018, 01:52h.

Pennsylvania casino operator Mount Airy says it’s building a satellite gaming venue in Beaver County some 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Mount Airy Pittsburgh satellite casino
Beaver County executive Daniel Camp shows local television viewers the vacant plot of land that will become Mount Airy Pittsburgh. The gaming company’s resort in the Pocono Mountains is seen on the right. (Image: Kristina Serafini/Tribune-Review/Mount Airy/

One of four licensed gaming operators that secured Category 4 satellite venues through auctions held by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), Mount Airy is the first to announce formal plans for the facilities that will be permitted to house up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games. The company based in the Pocono Mountains says it has purchased 100 acres of land where the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-376 intersect in Western Pennsylvania.

The property sits in Big Beaver Borough, and is less than 20 miles from the Ohio state line and towns of Cranberry and Sewickley. The area is home to the Pittsburgh International Race Complex, a 400-acre track that hosts auto and kart racing, as well as a performance driving school.

The casino will be known as Mount Airy Pittsburgh, despite being a roughly 45-minute commute to the city. The facility will employ 700 people.

Mount Airy secured a 15-mile radius in Beaver County in February by submitting a winning $21.88 million bid during the third auction.

Local Officials Rejoice

Pennsylvania lawmakers legalized as many as 10 Category 4 satellites through a massive gambling expansion package last fall. Along with the mini-casinos, the bill authorized online gambling, daily fantasy sports, sports betting, airport gaming lounges, and slots in certain truck stops.

Towns were afforded the right to say no to the satellites by passing local ordinances banning the venues. A total of 664 municipalities did just that, but Beaver County officials welcomed the idea of a casino.

“This is an exciting time of economic development,” Beaver County Board of Commissioners Chairman Daniel Camp stated. “I welcome the economic growth and entertainment options this will bring not only to the citizens of Beaver County, but to those in neighboring regions.”

“After working with the Mount Airy management team for the past several months, I know they will be great partners for Beaver County and Big Beaver Borough,” Camp concluded.

Mount Airy Pittsburgh will include 750 slots and 30 tables, buffet, and sports bar. The company says it will later consider adding a hotel, convention center, fine dining, and pool and spa.

Friedmutter Group, an architecture firm based in Las Vegas, is being hired to design the satellite. The company is responsible for numerous casinos in Southern Nevada including the Strip’s Cosmopolitan. Friedmutter also designed Studio City in Macau, and the interior of MGM Cotai.

Satellite Progress

Penn National secured two satellite casinos by winning the first auction with a $51.1 million offer, and the fifth and last with a $10.5 million bid.

The other satellite licensees are Stadium Casino LLC, the entity that is constructing a full-fledged commercial casino in Philadelphia’s Stadium District. Stadium Casino paid $40.1 million to grab the second Category 4 auction. The company is expected to soon unveil formal plans for a mini-casino at the Westmoreland Mall 25 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Philly’s Parx Casino secured the third auction with a $8.1 million offer after a zoning gaffe from Las Vegas Sands voided its $9.9 million proposal. Parx is looking at potential locations in Cumberland County. 

Penn National obtained a two-month extension for its first satellite, which is earmarked for York County. Penn National’s second satellite secures a 15-mile area centered in Lancaster County.