Table Games Open in Pennsylvania
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
Pennsylvania sent a warning shot across New Jersey's bow on Sunday (July 18), opening Las Vegas-style table games at a trio of casinos not far from the states' shared border. The move — combined with the earlier opening of table games at three other Pennsylvania casinos — is causing deep worries among some New Jersey leaders, who see a further loss of revenue for struggling Atlantic City and the state as a whole.
"It's all around us now, and Pennsylvania only adds to the urgency," State Senator Richard Codey told The Record of Bergen County , referring to recent efforts by nearby states — including Delaware and Maryland — to expand gambling. "We've got blinders on, and I don't get it. Why are we giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to other states?"
Codey and others in New Jersey want to open a slots parlor at the Meadowlands complex near New York City, The Record reported. That would allow the state to tap into a potentially huge new source of revenue. Governor Chris Christie has not endorsed the proposal, however.
The mid-Atlantic region is far from the only place where an inter-state gambling competition is taking hold. In an article today that asks a blunt question — " Do state governments have a gambling addiction? " — The Christian Science Monitor notes that New England also is in the midst of a games race these days.
"The Massachusetts legislature is hammering out details of a bill to bring two or three resort-style casinos to the state to supplement its lottery and racetrack betting parlors," The Monitor reported. "In Maine, developers have already put down a deposit on a site for a casino, which is subject to voter approval in November. A similar initiative was just vetoed by Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) in Rhode Island, prompting talk of an override by the legislature."
Gambling provides between 2 and 3 percent of most states' revenue when federal funds are excluded, The Monitor noted. In Nevada, that figure was 13.6 percent in 2007 — a major reason for the state's enormous budget difficulties during the recession.