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Atlantic City Casino Fined While Pennsylvania Revenue Soars

This week in the Northeast has exemplified the difference between Pennsylvania and New Jersey casino gambling industries. While the Pennsylvania casinos appear headed for a takeover as the top gaming state in the region, New Jersey casinos continued to get fined for allowing underage gambling.

The Tropicana Casino and Resort was fined $27,500 for violating regulations regarding underage gambling. The casino, according to the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Division, allowed a 14 year old boy to play slot machines on August 12th of last year. The report claims that a security officer walked passed the boy and did not stop the illegal gambling.

In addition to the underage gambling fine, the casino was hit with a $10,000 for not removing the ten cards out of the deck in the game Spanish 21. The ten cards are not used in the game, and by leaving them in the decks, the casino violated game rules. The game is played similarly to blackjack, with a couple of slight rule changes.

While New Jersey was dealing with the fines and a growing insecurity as to when the gaming industry will rebound from the 2008 economic recession, Pennsylvania casinos are feeling no such effects. Regulators announced on Tuesday that the state's ten casinos' revenue for 2011 was up almost 22% from 2010. The casinos topped the $3 billion mark in total revenue.

Analysts had been predicting that Pennsylvania would pass New Jersey by the end of 2012 in overall gaming revenue. New Jersey, however, could tilt the odds back in their favor if they can successfully lobby the federal government to overturn the 1992 law that makes it illegal for states to offer sports gambling. New Jersey lawmakers have already passed legislation that would allow sports books at AC casinos.

In 2011, AC casino revenue was $3.3 billion. With Pennsylvania closing in on that number, AC casinos are searching for ways to weather the storm that will soon include casinos in Massachusetts and New York. AC casinos may soon also get the advantage of operating online casinos, with Senator Raymond Lesniak pushing for online gambling.

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