PA an exception to national drop in gaming

    States hamstrung by the recession are finding their revenues from casinos and lotteries are not as flush as they expected. A new report about to be released says that for the first time, many states are reporting a decrease in gaming money but not in Pennsylvania.

    States hamstrung by the recession are finding their revenues from casinos and lotteries are not as flush as they expected. A new report about to be released says that for the first time, many states are reporting a decrease in gaming money but not in Pennsylvania.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090910spgaming.mp3]

    It turns out the recession not only impacts sales and income tax revenues, it also decreases the number of dollars gamblers are willing to pour into slot machines and spend on lottery tickets. Bob Ward is with the Rockefeller Institute of Government and helped write the report. Ward says in addition to the recession, there is an element of saturation with states racing to get new gambling options up and running.

    Ward: We still have not reached the point where all the potential gamblers are tapped out. We will reach that point and then all the states will be fighting over the same pie.

    A spokesman for the state Gaming Control Board says they do expect revenues to flatten out. The legislature is proposing to add table games, which officials say could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenues.

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