Pennsylvania Solidifies Position As US’ Second-Largest Gaming Market

The Pennsylvania gaming industry has steadily been on the rise since lawmakers approved table games back in 2011. By the end of the year, Pennsylvania overtook New Jersey as the second-largest gaming industry in the US.

In 2012, the state expanded its revenue lead over New Jersey, solidifying its place behind Nevada, and sending Atlantic City officials scurrying for answers.

Pennsylvania had more than $3.1 billion in revenue from its 11 casinos in 2012. That figure is up from the $3 billion in revenue the state’s casinos saw the previous year.

The revenue figure release sent shock waves through New Jersey. The state had revenue of $3 billion in 2012, but that was not enough to re-take the lead over Pennsylvania. In fact, the gap between the two states grew larger last year.

In New Jersey, regulators will have to assess whether or not the casino industry will ever return to the record revenue figures of 2006. That year, AC casinos took in $5.6 billion. The recession of 2008 soon hit, and the industry never-returned to pre-recession revenue.

Part of the problem for New Jersey has been the expansion of the gaming industries in neighboring states. Gamblers used to come from all across the East Coast to New Jersey. Over the past five years, gamblers have been given alternatives in Ohio, Maine, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. New York and Massachusetts will also soon enter the market.

Whether any of those states will be able to keep up with Pennsylvania is up for debate. Legislators in the state have been proactive in giving the casinos everything they need to compete on a national level. Some of the top developers in the country have helped build the industry, and with the support of local residents, Pennsylvania will set its sights on catching Nevada for the top spot.

The rise to prominence for Pennsylvania casinos has happened quickly. The first casino was not opened in the state until 2006, after gambling was legalized in 2004. In the six years of existence, the industry has expanded several times, reaching its current 11 casino figure in 2011.


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