Pennsylvania Poised to Pass Atlantic City in 2012

13 Feb 2012 | 02:58 Author: Seth Shafer

Atlantic City is still struggling to regain some of its former shine amid steadily declining gambling revenues, with Pennsylvania poised to pass it in 2012 as the US' second largest gambling area.

Preliminary numbers are in for the results of gambling in many US states and it's more bad news for Atlantic City, which has seen nearly five years of steady declines in the revenue generated by its casinos from gambling games such as slots, craps, and blackjack.

US casinos overall will likely show a slight gain as far as gambling revenues in 2011, with a 2-3% increase when final numbers are published. High unemployment and struggling economies in many states continue to rein in spending at casinos, with convention traffic and higher tourist traffic to destinations such as Las Vegas helping to improve the overall picture.

Las Vegas still is the crown jewel of gambling in the US, with the state of Nevada reporting gross gaming revenue in 2011 of $10.7 billion -- an increase of 2.8% over 2010. Much of those gains came from Las Vegas casinos with those in other areas of the state such as Reno and Laughlin continuing to struggle.

Las Vegas' attempt to broaden its appeal past casino gambling has helped it somewhat weather the economic storms of recent years, with casinos pulling in more revenue each year from entertainment, shopping, and other areas.

While Atlantic City managed to cling to the #2 slot in the US gambling market, that's likely to be short-lived, with Pennsylvania charging hard on its heels -- a trend that began in 2007 and intensified in 2011.

Gross gambling revenue in Atlantic City in 2011 slipping nearly 7% to $3.3 billion, continuing a slide that has now dragged on for over 5 years for the casinos that call Atlantic City home; newer casinos in nearby Pennsylvania continue to siphon gambling dollars away, with increased options as far as table games intensifying the trend.

The state of New Jersey has explored various options to try to stem the tide, including exploring the possibility of online poker for state residents as well as legislation to allow for sportsbetting in Atlantic City casinos.

2011 gambling revenues in Pennsylvania came in at a record $3 billion, a whopping 22% increase over 2010, making the state the biggest gainer in the US in 2011.

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