The slots are jumping and the tables are growing legs as the fortunes turn from Atlantic City to Pennsylvania

Posted by By at 20 January, at 14 : 06 PM Print

Pennsylvania casinos are, pardon the pun, on a roll. According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue, table games brought in $44 million dollars in December 2010, up 14 percent over the prior month.

Even if, you think only about the ailments casinos bring to some, its hard not to cheer for the extra $7,052.885 table games brought to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth.

Surely its another ringing sign that the gaming industry in Pennsylvania is on the winning side of robust.

Richard McGarvey, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board threw caution to the wind in tempering the dicey side of table fever. “This is only the fifth full month of these games in Pennsylvania, we need to have more time,” fully to understand if what we are seeing is truly long-term growth.

McGarvey pointed out that large numbers of people took time off from work in the month of December, perhaps its an anomaly, McGarvey said, lets see what it looks like when we have a full year to compare.

Still there is no denying 2010 was a break-out year for Pennsylvania Casinos. Slot machines alone amassed a jaw-dropping $2.27 billion, up nearly 16 percent over the previous year, and if those numbers keep growing Pennsylvania will top Atlantic City in 2011.

It has taken only six years for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry to become the odds on favorite over America’s second largest gaming center. Atlantic City took another 9.6 percent hit in 2010, taking in $3.6 billion. A far cry from 2006, when New Jersey’s once crown jewel watched its revenues tip $5.2 billion — the storied gaming capital of the east has now lost one-third of its business.

“I have been predicting for years that you are going to see a kind of streamlining and eventually a sorting out, and smaller casinos will no longer be operating,” said James Karmel, author of “Gambling on the American Dream: Atlantic City and the Casino Era.”

Karmel, who also teaches a college course on the business of gambling, also told Rock The Capital that the only way Atlantic City can reverse itself and start stealing customers away is to, “revisit its historical attraction, which is the beach, which is something Pennsylvania casinos could never offer.”

Bob Griffin, chief executive officer of the three Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City, told the Press of Atlantic City that “more liberal smoking policies and better tax incentives on gambling promotions,” would recharge his local ailing businesses, his conclusion is a more liberal smoking policy is giving Pennsylvania a competitive edge over New Jersey.

(If you want to learn more about the revenue Pennsylvania derives from gambling, just click on Rock The Capital.)

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