More than 1,000 Pennsylvania municipalities, including 20 in Franklin and Fulton counties, have opted out of hosting new mini-casinos.
State lawmakers passed the new casino legislation last year in an effort to close Pennsylvania’s nearly $2.3 billion deficit and wrap up the 2017-18 state spending plan.
A mini-casino can house 300 to 750 slot machines and as many as 40 table games. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board planned to start auctioning off 10 mini-casino licenses to the state’s 11 largest licensed casinos on Jan. 10.
But the board gave municipalities until Dec. 31 to opt out of hosting mini-casinos. Those who initially vote no can opt back in, but there won’t be another chance to opt out.
In Franklin County, 10 of the county’s 15 townships opted out as of Jan. 4, including Antrim, Fannett, Guilford, Hamilton, Letterkenny, Metal, Montgomery, Peters, Quincy and Southampton townships. The boroughs of Greenscastle, Mont Alto, Waynesboro and Mercersburg also chose not to participate.
In Fulton County, six of 11 townships said no as of Jan. 4. Those include Ayr, Bethel, Brush Creek, Taylor, Thompson and Wells townships.
Pennsylvania has more than 2,500 municipalities.