Pa. casino industry hits the jackpot

FISHTOWN - December 20, 2011

Pennsylvania's casinos pulled in $245.8 million during the month of November, while Atlantic City grossed $245.1 million.

This doesn't surprise patrons of the Sugarhouse Casino.

"For Philadelphians it's in the neighborhood, like five or so minutes away," said one patron.

While the latest figures are just for one month, Atlantic City casino revenues have been falling ever since the competition from other states began.

The economic downturn has helped to fuel the decrease as well.

Some gaming analysts believe that for the first time in 2012 Pennsylvania may actually overtake Atlantic City to become the East Coast's biggest gambling market.

"The answer for AC is very simple, more capital investment. Capital investment leads to new attractions, expanded attractions and all of that leads to more visitation," said Michael Pollack of Spectrum Gaming.

Atlantic City has attracted visitors for other entertainment including shopping and concerts.

In addition, 2012 will see the opening of the city's 13th casino hotel, the long awaited billion dollar Revel Casino Hotel.

"Its new, its well capitalized and designed. It has a variety of entertainment options which allows it to capture a variety of adults," said Pollack.

Pollack says comparing Pennsylvania to Atlantic City is almost like comparing apples to oranges.

He also said he sees no reason the two can't exist without being in competition.

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