Slots in Pennsylvania No Worry For Atlantic City
When high-rolling casino executives in Atlantic City talk about the emerging gambling market in Pennsylvania, they sound a lot like the maitre d' at a fancy French restaurant commenting on a McDonald's popping up across the street.
They use put-downs such as 'slot shacks' and 'convenience gaming' to describe the Keystone State, reserving 'destination' and 'attraction' to identify the Garden State's gaming resort.
Slots sale disputes could hold up casinos So why should Pennsylvanians care about Atlantic City, which for many has been little more than a bunch of slot machines at the end of a cheap bus trip?
Because it's the biggest competitor facing Pennsylvania's newest industry. Because the once-dying resort town is abuzz with construction and investment. And because several of the companies that want to build casinos in Pennsylvania own them in Atlantic City, raising questions about whether they're interested in expanding into a new market or defending an existing one.
As Pennsylvania gets ready to add up to 61,000 slot machines from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, casinos in Atlantic City are aggressively expanding, building hotel rooms by the thousands and wrapping high-end shops, restaurants and spas around the casino floor. Trying to shed its seedy-casino-town stigma and compete with Las Vegas, Atlantic City is reinventing itself as a getaway for vacationers and conventioneers, with much more to offer than slot machines and blackjack tables.
Predicting how Atlantic City and Pennsylvania will interact is a complex equation that involves factors yet to be settled. The most significant question is who will be building the casinos in Pennsylvania: those with a stake in Atlantic City or those without.
Industry analysts predict Atlantic City could see a small reduction in Pennsylvania day-trippers when slots parlors open closer to their homes. But over the long-term, the new casinos could benefit Atlantic City by introducing more people to gambling and making them interested in trips to the East Coast's gaming capital, they say, especially if Atlantic City companies build Pennsylvania's casinos.