If you think that Las Vegas is the biggest casino gaming destination as far as United States casinos are concerned, then you are quite right. Las Vegas is the biggest gaming destination in the United States of America. But you would be wrong to think that it is the only gaming destination. Atlantic City has been at Vegas’ heels and has been a strong number 2 as the City holds large control over the East Coast gaming scene. But with more and more cities around Atlantic City legalizing gambling it looks like the industry giant is lightly losing its grip. And the rise of a new gambling destination seems to be proof of this. Pennsylvania is close to stealing Atlantic City’s number two position and becoming the second largest casino destination in the United States. Pennsylvania has been seeing an exponential rise in gaming world and it’s making everyone sit up and take notice.
So what are the facts? Well Pennsylvania has pretty much the same number of casinos as Atlantic City and the two cities are also pretty close in their gambling revenues. Atlantic City made $3.3 billion in 2011 and Pennsylvania made over $3 billion. So with such close earnings and almost same number of casinos, how is it that Pennsylvania seems to be the new number 2 gambling destination after Vegas? One important fact that needs to be taken into consideration is that Atlantic City casinos first opened in 1978 whereas Pennsylvania opened its first casinos only in 2006. It should also be noted that the $3 billion in revenue that Pennsylvania casinos collectively earned was a 21.7% increase from the previous year, which is really an immense growth. The main reason behind this sudden increase in revenue was that 2011 was the first full year that table games were fully offered at PA casinos and this lead to a 300% increase in the table game revenue.
Another reason for the great success of the Pennsylvania casinos is that it is located close to metropolitan cities like Philadelphia. The residents of Philadelphia make up a huge percentage of Atlantic City visitors, but now that the Philadelphians have three excellent casinos, namely Parx Casino, Harrah’s Chester Casino and Racetrack, and the newly opened Sugar House Casino, within 15 minutes of the area, they would obviously decline the hour and a half drive to Atlantic City.
New Yorkers, who have also been the steady visitors to Atlantic City Casino, have now found new options. Instead of travelling 3 hours by car to Atlantic City, New Yorkers can opt to drive for 2 hours and visit the Philadelphia casinos or further cut down driving time to an hour and a half and head to casinos in Bethlehem, PA where the Sand Casino Resort awaits. So when you put together the number visitors from Philly and New York you are talking an influx of an odd 25 million customers, and that is a pretty sweet number for the PA casinos.
For now Pennsylvania has it made and the future looks pretty good. The plans to build a new casino are already underway and the state government is pro-gambling thanks to all the revenues that’s been pouring in.