Pennsylvania Slot Revenue Grows As New Jersey Gaming Suffers
In just a few short years, Pennsylvania has gone from a start-up gaming industry state, to the second most profitable casino industry in the US. The fiscal year that recently ended showed the distance Pennsylvania has put between themselves and New Jersey for the second spot behind Nevada.
In the 2011 fiscal year, Pennsylvania slot revenue rose by 5.5%. The slot revenue of $2.5 billion was up in large part due to the excitement being created around the Pennsylvania casinos, coupled with the addition of new gaming facilities during the fiscal year.
"We are pleased with the annual slot machine revenue figures and optimistic about the future success of Pennsylvania casinos,: said Gaming Board Chairman William H. Ryan Jr. "At the same time, we are fully aware that bordering states will provide more competition for gaming entertainment dollars which can affect the level of growth we are seeing."
The Northeast has become a hotbed of gaming activity since the economic recession. While Pennsylvania has led the way, Maryland, Maine, Delaware, and now even Massachusetts and New York have expanded their gaming industries. Massachusetts lawmakers finalized their plan for casino resorts earlier this year, and poses the biggest threat to Pennsylvania in the future.
New York also could become a major player in the gaming industry in the coming years. New York is already considered to be the top tourist destination in the world, with many big spenders coming into town on a daily basis. The addition of casino resorts could make New York the top grossing gaming destination in the US, according to several analysts.
"With the amount of people that go through New York on their travels, it would be conceivable that the state could easily surpass Nevada and Pennsylvania if they expand gambling at a swift rate," said Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins. "The only thing that could slow that growth is if lawmakers decide they want to add casinos slowly, in order to see the effect on the community."
Pennsylvania moved into the second spot in gaming revenue after lawmakers legalized table games for state casinos. The table games began at Pennsylvania casinos last July, and in the year since, the casinos have seen a sharp spike in revenue. Even South New Jersey residents are choosing to cross the border into Pennsylvania, rather than go to Atlantic City.
The AC casinos have struggled for the past five years, and the addition of the new Revel casino resort has not helped as much as gaming executives in the city had hoped. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been a proponent of helping get the gaming industry in his state back on track. Lawmakers, this year, have passed two bills, one that would regulate online gambling, and another that authorizes sports betting in the state.
July 5, 2012
Posted By Terry Goodwin
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com