Sands Casino Resort, Bethlehem, PA

Pennsylvania has bumped aside Atlantic City to become the United States’ second largest gambling market. It’s the first time the Keystone State’s been in the No. 2 and the first time AC’s been at No. 3.

According to a report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, as reported in the Las Vegas Sun, the state’s 11 casinos brought in $3.16 billion last year. That’s up 4.4% from the previous year.

Pennsylvania’s gaming revenues have been soaring every since the state legalized table gaming back in 2010. Table games accounted for $687.4 million of Penn’s casino take, up a full 11% over 2011.

Despite rapid growth in the table game market, slot machines are still the big money maker for Keystone State casinos. In 2012 they raked in $2.47 billion, a jump of just 2.2%.

Pennsylvania’s ascendancy in the US gaming market is a big blow to the the struggling Atlantic City casinos. It also adds urgency to New Jersey’s goal of dominating the burgeoning American online gambling market and legalize sports betting.

Competition for East Coast gambling dollars has heated up considerably over the last few years. Cash strapped states like Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania are turning to gambling revenues to fund schools and, in public services and, in some cases, to prop up the horse racing.


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