Pennsylvania now USA’s Second Biggest Gambling Spot

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For decades, the United States gambling destination hierarchy went like this: 1) Las Vegas, 2) Atlantic City, and then the rest. However, there’s been a major shakeup recently since the state of Pennsylvania has overtaken Atlantic City to become the country’s second biggest casino gaming market.

Getting into the specifics, Pennsylvania casinos made over $3 billion in revenue throughout 2011, which was a 22% increase from the previous year. Considering the fact that the state just started offering table games halfway through 2010, experts are expecting 2012 to be even bigger for Pennsylvania.

The primary catalyst for Pennsylvania’s increased gaming success is table games, which saw a 300% increase during their first full year of being offered. They generated over $618 million of the state’s revenue in 2011. When combined with slots games, Pennsylvania’s gaming activity helped create $1.4 billion in tax revenue.

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Moving to individual casinos, the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem showed the biggest improvement after pulling in 32% more revenue than the previous year. Just like the state of Pennsylvania, Sands Casino showed a 300% increase in revenue from slots games.

Another venue worth mentioning is the SugarHouse Casino, which opened in Philadelphia towards the end of 2010. Richard McGarvey, who is from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, said that he believes SugarHouse is the biggest reason why Pennsylvania has surpassed Atlantic City.

It doesn’t appear as if Atlantic City will have much of a chance to catch up to PA because the state is opening another casino in Valley Forge. In addition to this, Pennsylvania has allotted for three more casino licenses that have yet to be awarded. Currently, there are 10 casinos operating within the state; assuming Valley Forge is built, and three more casinos are licensed, that would make 14 total casinos.

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