After Initial Struggles, Pa.’s Gaming Industry Is Booming
The eleven casinos situated throughout Pennsylvania collectively accumulated more than $233.1 million in gross slot machine revenue during the month of March, reaching an all-time monthly high in the state, according to a report published by the Associated Press.
With revenue from slots and table games combined, the $3.66 billion Pennsylvania gaming market has surpassed New Jersey’s $3.3 billion, and trailing only Nevada as the second-largest casino market in the country.
According to the report, the Pennsylvania state legislature approved legislation allowing the construction of up to fourteen slot-machine casinos in the state in July 2004.
“Virtually every jurisdiction in the country would kill for that kind of growth, especially in a sluggish economy,” said Joe Weinert, senior vice president of New Jersey-based casino consulting Spectrum Gaming Group.
The Spectrum Gaming Group has also called Pennsylvania the “envy of the casino industry.”
The state uses the funds it derives from taxing casino revenue to support the state budget, public schools, civic development projects, volunteer firefighting squads, local governments and the horse racing industry.
The success of the state’s casinos comes in the aftermath of several scandals. The law to legalize slots was passed in the middle of the night in 2004. Then, a grand jury found the Gaming Control Board to have created a “culture of noncriminal misconduct” in 2011.