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Casinos Prosper in Pennsylvania

By Lance Burkhart on November 17, 2008  Email it!    Print Version

Play Slots at Rushmore Casino! HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- Pennsylvania is bucking the downward revenue trend in the casino business. The state reported gains of as much as thirty percent over revenues in the same month last year.

Even after adjusting the figure to exclude new venues, Pennsylvania still shows that four of the five casinos in existence a year ago have increased business, and revenues among the five locations are up almost four percent.

In contrast, neighboring Atlantic City casinos are down close to twenty percent, and Las Vegas is off by twelve percent.

Part of the Pennsylvania boon is the convenience of location. While traveling destinations have suffered from the effects of rising fuel prices and the general economy, patrons have found gambling closer to home attractive.

Pennsylvania police have also conducted a major intimidation campaign, raiding and closing local bars and social clubs for even the most minute of gambling operations. Governor Ed Rendell has largely succeeded in forcing gamblers to seek state-licensed locations to satisfy their gaming needs.

Unease with the constantly changing smoking laws in New Jersey have also helped reverse the flow of gambling dollars. Where the old model was Pennsylvania dollars heading to Atlantic City, now Jersey smokers are spending money at racinos and slot parlors with full smoking in Pennsylvania.

For now, the slots explosion in the state exceeds even projections by the state Gaming Control Board. As for the future, new competition in Maryland and New York may alter the results, but that remains to be seen.

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