CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of R.D. Ellison

Gaming Guru

 

Have U.S. Casinos Reached Their Saturation Point?

22 August 1999

Two years ago, I read a prediction that by 2000, over 98% of all Americans living in the contiguous 48 states would reside within 200 miles of a casino. With the year 2000 drawing near, I was curious about the accuracy of that prediction.

Using several recently published books and casino directories, I created a large map to show all casino locations in the U.S. Then I contacted the Governor's offices of the states that don't currently have casinos to see if there is pending legislation that may change the legality of casino gambling in those states. The following, which apply only to the 48 contiguous states (except where noted), are some of what I learned:

  • 16 states now have Class III casino gambling (which includes slot machines and all the major table games, such as Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Poker).
  • 31 states now have some form of casino-style gambling, which includes slots only, or Video Poker only, Blackjack and slots only, or card clubs, etc.
  • 48 of all 50 states now offer some form of legalized gambling, which includes bingo, racetracks and lotteries. The two with zero tolerance for gambling are Utah & Hawaii.
  • In contrast to the above, 11 years ago, only two places offered casino gambling: the state of Nevada, and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
  • Number of U.S. cities with a population exceeding 200,000: 69.
  • Number of U.S. cities with a population exceeding 200,000 that are within 200 linear miles of a casino: 62.
  • Number of U.S. cities with a population exceeding 200,000 that are within 300 linear miles of a casino: 68. (San Antonio, Texas, the only exception, is 315 linear miles from the casinos in Lake Charles, Louisiana.)
  • Farthest U.S. town from a casino: Zapata, Texas (pop. 7200), on the Mexican border, 430 linear miles from the casinos in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
  • Most likely states to have casino gambling next: Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The Arkansas ballot issue, which may be decided on in November 2000, will abolish most property taxes in the state if casinos are allowed in seven counties. Massachusetts has proposals to permit casinos in Salisbury Beach and Holyoke, to be acted on before Nov. 1999. A ballot initiative in Rhode Island has targeted West Warwick for a casino, to be decided on in Nov. 2000.

Notes:

  • Although Florida is counted in this report as having casinos, all gambling must take place offshore, outside a 3-mile demarcation line, on board a watercraft offering what is colloquially referred to as a "cruise to nowhere."
  • Linear miles are used in this study, which represent the distances in a straight line. To approximate vehicular travel miles, add 15% to 20% to the stated distance.

The result of this study is that by 2000, over 98% of those living in the 48 states will not reside within 200 miles of a casino. But the prediction was not far from the mark!

Sources:

  1. Casinos Coast to Coast, Frank DeAngelo, 1998.
  2. Casino Player's Handbook, Andrew James McLean, 1998.
  3. 1999 Casino Directory & Funbook, published by Casino Player magazine, 1999.
  4. Casino Player magazine, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  5. Executive aides for those states where the future legality of casino-style gaming is in question.

Copyright 1999 R.D. Ellison

R.D. Ellison
R.D. Ellison is a professional gambler with more than twenty years of successful gaming experience. He has lived and gambled in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and in the Midwest where he has frequented riverboat casinos. He now maintains his primary residence in southern Ohio.

Books by R.D. Ellison:

> More Books By R.D. Ellison

R.D. Ellison
R.D. Ellison is a professional gambler with more than twenty years of successful gaming experience. He has lived and gambled in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and in the Midwest where he has frequented riverboat casinos. He now maintains his primary residence in southern Ohio.

Books by R.D. Ellison:

Gamble To Win: Craps

> More Books By R.D. Ellison