Thunder valley casino Valley view casino center Thunder valley casino resort Skagit valley casino Thunder valley casino hotel Valley view casino center seating chart Valley view casino buffet Valley view casino hotel Valley forge casino Valley view casino. 4 Lehigh Valley municipalities say no thanks to a potential mini-casino - Lehigh Valley Business Cycle

If you don’t want a mini-casino in your municipality, now’s the time to speak up. Valley casino.

Four municipalities in the Lehigh Valley have done just that.

Upper Saucon Township in Lehigh County and Allen, Hanover and Washington townships in Northampton County have prohibited a mini-casino within their borders by delivering a resolution to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which is keeping a running list on its website. A municipality can rescind the prohibition at any time, but it cannot restore the ban afterward.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, the board had received opt-out resolutions from 88 municipalities across the state. Lancaster County leads the way, with 15 of its municipalities opting out. Meanwhile, nine of Chester County’s municipalities have officially said, “No thanks.” The list will no doubt grow longer, because municipalities have until Dec. 31 to send a resolution to the board.

Most of the Lehigh Valley already is well-protected from an outside casino company coming in and building a satellite parlor. That’s because of how the gambling expansion legislation, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on Oct. 30, is written.

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While the law allows for the establishment of up to 10 mini-casinos across the state, it sets certain parameters for where they can be located to protect against potential cannibalization. A satellite casino, which can house between 300 and 750 slot machines and up to 40 table games, cannot take root within 25 miles of one of Pennsylvania’s existing 12 gambling halls. The only exception is if one of the state’s existing casinos decides to put a satellite parlor that close to its own facility.

That means a mini-casino can’t pop up within 25 miles of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, unless Las Vegas Sands Corp. decides it wants a mini-Sands Bethlehem in the area. Las Vegas Sands has given no indication as to whether it’s interested in bidding for a mini-casino license, a bidding process that is slated to kick off by early next year. The state’s existing casino licensees will get first crack at getting a license for a mini-casino, officially called a category 4 license.

Another part of the massive gambling expansion is a provision that allows qualifying truck stops to house up to five video-gambling terminals, or VGTs.

To qualify, according to the legislation, truck stops must: be equipped with diesel islands; have sold an average of 50,000 gallons of diesel each month for the last year; have at least 20 parking spaces for trucks; have a convenience store; and be on an at least 3-acre parcel of land not owned by the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The truck stop must also be licensed as a lottery sales agent.

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But, again, certain counties have the ability to say no to truck-stop gambling. The legislation provides a “host county option,” which allows a county that hosts one of the state’s existing casinos to prohibit VGTs within the county by delivering a resolution to the board no later than Dec. 29.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, the board had received a resolution from Washington County, which hosts The Meadows Racetrack & Casino.

But, once the board updates the list Monday, Northampton County — home to Sands Bethlehem — is likely to be on it.

At its Nov. 16 meeting, the Northampton County Council unanimously passed a resolution opting out of truck stop VGTs in the county. As it was, county council members said during a discussion before the vote, they believed there was only one truck stop in Stockertown that would have qualified anyway.

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