Pa. gaming official unfazed by prospect of N.Y. gambling expansion

    New York’s renewed interest in expanding casino gambling could mean Pennsylvania won’t be the region’s industry juggernaut.

    N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signaled that his administration is looking into legalizing gambling at its racetrack casinos, which have electronic slot machines but no table games.

    Pennsylvania legalized table games last year, an expansion that caused New Jersey’s Atlantic City gaming profits to take a hit.

    Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, says even if full-fledged gambling becomes the norm in New York, the commonwealth won’t necessarily see the dip in revenue that New Jersey gaming saw.

    “The casinos in Pennsylvania would continue to advance the type of amenities that they’re offering,” Harbach said. “They may expand them; they may offer more conference centers, more hotels, more eating venues. All of those things that would do a better job of attracting customers other than just to have the gaming in their facility.”

    Harbach says he’s not aware of any lobbying effort by Pennsylvania’s casinos to counter the one gearing up among pro-gambling interests in New York.

    Last year, Pennsylvania’s 10 casinos turned about a $2.5 billion profit.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.