Local casino gets ready for table games

July 15, 2010 3:05:19 PM PDT
Casinos in our area are getting ready to roll the dice on table games.

At the Parx Casino in Bensalem on Thursday there were no dealers but, instead, technicians who made last minute adjustments to the tables and the closed circuit cameras.

"Surveillance and security are a very big part of this, so they're going through everything to make sure it's fine-tuned," said Carrie Minelli of Parx Casino.

Table games debuted at a Pittsburgh casino last week, and Parx expects players in its seats for a test-run on Friday, with proceeds going to charity.

However, the question remains: Will Pennsylvania slots players make the move to table games?

Some may, but most told Action News on Thursday they probably won't, saying they can stretch ten dollars to last an hour, an amount that could disappear in a blink at a table.

"I think two different cultures, but I'm sure it'll draw the people who like to play the table games that would go down to Atlantic City," said Darnley Johnson of Levittown.

For all the fuss about table games, the best bet for Pennsylvania taxpayers will remain slots. It's projected that table games will generate about $100 million per year in taxes, but slots will generate $1.2 billion.

For casino foes, the biggest concern is a change in existing law that allows casinos to extend credit. For losers, it could mean a deeper financial hole.

"So when you allow addicts to take out lines of credit it drives them further and further into addition and poverty," said Lily Cavanagh of Casino Free Philadelphia.

Parx officials said the company was planning on a credit program, but wouldn't give specifics.

For now, it's focused on table games. At Sunday's grand opening it will have actor Chris Noth, aka Mr. Big from "Sex and the City." He'll cut the ribbon then go inside to throw the first dice.