Atlantic City May See a Hit in Business Thanks to PAs Table Games

Pennsylvania recently enacted legislation adding table games to the sorts of gambling that are legal in the state. Already horse tracks, slot machines, and lottery tickets were allowed under the rules in Pennsylvania, but continued budget shortfalls and interest brought the legislature to a decision that’s actually made fairly common nowadays in many states.

Already, poker, blackjack, and numerous other table games will make their way into the casinos around the state. When Harrah’s unveiled their Eastern PA casino table games, the whole floor was absolutely packed, which shows that gamblers were more than ready to take advantage of the new law, as well as casinos.

A Move Made By PA Changes Everything

Governor Ed Rendell was trying to find a solution to the state’s budget shortfalls. Over the years, constant rising property taxes were beginning to take a serious toll on much of the state, particularly the elderly. So the Governor suggested, and later signed, a bill allowing the addition of slot machines.

There’s more than just a benefit to the state’s coffers, as well. While the state pockets around 60% of the take from the slots, it will only take 14-16% of the take from table games. The money will also be used for other things – some of the money is already being given to the Delaware County Community College, and students may see their tuition costs cut in half, just from the take from the casinos in Chester. That is a huge windfall, and certainly a positive outcome from the introduction of gambling to increase the state’s revenue. Not only that, but Eastern PA gambling hotels can benefit from increased traffic from tourists traveling looking for a game.

This is all good for Pennsylvania, but it’s very worrying for the casino owners and for legislators in neighboring New Jersey, particularly Atlantic City. Other nearby states have also increased their own gambling, which is horning in on the bonanza that Atlantic City brings to New Jersey. Already, Delaware has table games as well as slots, and is planning on expanding table games to even beyond the three horse tracks where they currently reside.

Reaction from NJ

State Senator Richard Codey is greatly worried as this new development of Pennsylvania opening table games inches away more of Atlantic City (and New Jersey’s) revenue. He told The Record of Bergen County that “It’s all around us now, and Pennsylvania only adds to the urgency. We’ve got blinders on, and I don’t get it. Why are we giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to other states?”