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Gap Between Pennsylvania And New Jersey Casinos Widens

The gap between the Pennsylvania and New Jersey gaming industries is growing with each passing month. New Jersey, once considered the East Coast equivalent to Nevada, has now fallen even further behind the Pennsylvania casinos in terms of overall gaming revenue.

Recently released revenue figures for 2011 show that the Pennsylvania gaming industry is picking up steam not only on a regional, but also a national level. In 2011, Pennsylvania gaming revenue was up to around $3 billion, an increase of 21% over the previous year.

New Jersey, with all of its casinos residing in Atlantic City, saw its revenue decrease by seven percent. AC casinos won just over $3 billion, keeping it above Pennsylvania for the year. In the months since, Pennsylvania has surpassed New Jersey as the top gaming location in the Northeast. Pennsylvania is now second behind only Nevada in terms of overall revenue.

Analysts believe that New Jersey could be in line for a rebound in 2012. Their latest casino resort to open, Revel, is expected to help rejuvenate an ailing industry. Revel is a state-of-the-art facility that is modeled after many of the new mega-casino resorts that are being built around the world.

"New Jersey experienced the largest decline," said Frank Ferhnkopf Jr., President of the American Gaming Association, when speaking about the 2011 gaming figures. "But 2012 could be a good year, as the opening of Revel could turn things around."

So far, Revel has not made a huge impact on the revenue figures in New Jersey. Gamblers are continuing to flock to Pennsylvania, and Asian gamblers that used to visit Atlantic City, are opting for options much closer to their homes.

"The loss of the Asian gamblers to Macau has been a big blow to Nevada and New Jersey casinos," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "Now New Jersey has to focus on regaining gamblers in the Northeast, and that will be a difficult task considering the number of new casinos that have gone up in recent years."

Schwartz was referring to casinos in Maine, Maryland, Vermont, and Delaware. Massachusetts has also approved casino resorts, and New York legislators are working on their own version of the law that would allow casinos in the state.

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