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Pennsylvania Gambling Beats Out Las Vegas, Atlantic City

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/26/2010
Pennsylvania Gambling

 

No wonder Atlantic City is suffering, Pennsylvania is making quite an impact on the gambling scene, at least if collected taxes act as an indicator.

Pennsylvania collected more in taxes from commercial casino gambling than any other state, including gambling heavyweight Nevada.

Pennsylvania's tax revenue from commercial casinos approached $1.1 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, The Morning Call of Allentown reported Monday. Indiana was second with $878 million and Nevada third with $831 million.

This is yet another example of how gambling can help boost state economies.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on how states were essentially becoming addicted to gambling themselves.

Peter Applebome of the Times writes:

From the beginning of our joy ride with legalized gambling, there was a worry that more gambling would mean more overextended suckers addicted to slots, poker tables, lotteries and roulette wheels.

Now we know it’s true — only the addicts are not necessarily day trippers on tour buses.

They are also states.

Pennsylvania’s neighbor New Jersey is currently in desperation mode.  Last week NJ Governor Chris Christie announced the state would be taking over struggling gambling destination Atlantic City.  Casino revenue there is down almost 30 percent from the same period in 2006.  Much of that is a result of Pennsylvania’s focus on gambling in recent years. 

Pennsylvania's casinos began offering table games this month. Those games are being taxed at a rate of 16 percent and are projected to bring the state $320 million more per year.

Gaming Control Board spokesman Richard McGarvey said Pennsylvania's high revenue isn't surprising.

"Our tax is so high because the intention of the gaming law was to bring in tax money," he said.

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