Video Gambling Revenue Down In Montana, Smoking Ban Blamed
When gambling revenue declines at casinos in areas where smoking bans have been enforced, the casinos have become accustomed to blaming the ban. In Montana, it appears that the gambling industry may have a legitimate argument.
Video gambling revenue declined in Montana by nearly eighteen percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The decline in revenue corresponded with a smoking ban that went into effect on October 1st.
"Those numbers would certainly match what we've been hearing from the field," said Mark Staples, an attorney that represents the Montana Tavern Association, "The downturn has been ranging from fifteen percent to twenty percent in most licensees that have any significant gaming property."
The decline in taxes paid by the gambling establishments for the last three months of 2009 was around $2.7 million from the previous quarter. The $12.5 million paid in taxes will represent a 17.8 decrease from the third quarter.
Gaming revenue as a whole has been down across the US. In Las Vegas and Atlantic City, two of the leading gaming markets in the country, revenue has dropped for many months in a row during the recession. AC casinos have seen revenue drop in double digits for many of the recession months.
Not all analysts, however, are blaming the smoking ban exclusively. Some believe that the extremely cold weather in December led to some of the revenue decline. The recession also has been blamed by some experts for part of the revenue loss.
January 20, 2010
Posted By Terry Goodwin
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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