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Pennsylvania Casinos Strong One Year After Adding Table Games

Pennsylvania lawmakers were faced in early 2010 with the task of increasing revenue to the state budget, while keeping from cutting programs. The answer to Governor Ed Rendell was simple, add table games to the list of acceptable forms of gambling at state casinos.

The governor pushed so hard for the table games that he threatened lawmakers with a major government job chopping proposition if the legislators did not complete the laws allowing table games. After months of debate, the threat made the lawmakers focus, and the result was table games for all Pennsylvania casinos.

This week, the state will celebrate the one year anniversary of when those table games finally went live. In the past twelve months, the Pennsylvania gaming industry has taken off, and it is largely due to Governor Rendell's vision of the future. The games have also done something else for the surrounding areas of the casinos.

Recent reports have shown that it is young gamblers that are flocking to the casinos these days in Pennsylvania. Looking for something new to do, the youth of the state has turned to the casinos not only for their gambling needs, but also for other types of entertainment such as fine dining and concerts.

While Pennsylvania casinos are thriving, their neighbors in New Jersey are watching their Atlantic City gaming industry crumble under the stress of the economic situation in the US. The 2008 recession started a downward trend for AC casinos, and the emergence of Pennsylvania casinos has kept the New Jersey gaming facilities down.

The Fourth of July weekend served as a friendly reminder that the AC casinos were not about to give up in their competition with Pennsylvania. Every casino resort in AC was booked to capacity for the Independence Day weekend. The fireworks shows that took place in AC were considered to be among the best in the country by several publications.

In Pennsylvania, their attention is now turned towards becoming the leading gaming destination in the Northeast. Analysts have predicted that Pennsylvania will surpass New Jersey in gaming revenue by the end of 2012. Pennsylvania casinos have already beaten AC casinos in slots revenue in several months over the past year.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is one of the facilities thriving since installing the table games, and gaming executives from the state are happy with the way the table games have helped the unemployment rate and the budget deficit.

"It's reached its expectations in terms of job growth and in terms of gross revenue and tax revenue," said Kevin O'Toole, Executive Director of the Gaming Control Board, as reported by The Patriot-News.

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