Much was made of the fact that last year Pennsylvania surpassed the income from gambling in New Jersey to become the second largest state for gambling, coming in after Nevada which is still holding on to its position as leader. The Pennsylvania gambling industry is relatively young, the first casinos opened there in 2006 and over this time its revenue has increased yearly so that it is now three times what it was in the first year of operation.
However now there are signs of a slow down in this growth.Pennsylvania has 11 casinos and recent figures from most of these show that income from slot machines is down when compared to revenue at the same time last year. Table games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps and poker, which have been offered in the state for the past three years, are also showing a drop in revenue for the casinos. In 2010 the state legislature allowed table games in the casinos to increase revenue for Pennsylvania as the tax on these games is 16 per cent. Besides the economic down turn which is affecting casino revenues world wide there is another reason for the decrease in casino income in Pennsylvania.
Just as the casinos in Pennsylvania lured players away from the casinos in Atlantic City, now the casinos in several states surrounding Pennsylvania are enticing players away from its casinos. Since other states such as Maryland, Ohio, Delaware and New York have recently either introduced gambling in their states or have enlarged the gambling already on offer, there has been a steady slow down in the growth in Pennsylvania since the end of 2012.While none of this signals the end for the gambling industry in the state, it does mean that there is not much room for growth in the sector at the moment and also that most of the revenue in Pennsylvania’s casinos may come from now on from its own citizens rather than from out of state visitors to its casinos. There is also competition within Pennsylvania from the casinos already operating there as they seek to attract more players. It is expected that the major growth of the past few years will not be repeated but there is hope that the industry will continue to evolve and so attract players from within and outside Pennsylvania.