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Pennsylvania slots parlors win big

11 January 2008

PENNSYLVANIA -- As reported by the New Jersey Times: "Two years ago, some industry analysts doubted racinos -- the spartan gambling operations inside Pennsylvania's race tracks -- would present a near-term threat to Atlantic City's fancy casinos.

"...'Anybody who made that prediction didn't fully recognize what formidable competition the racinos would be in eastern Pennsylvania,' said Joe Weinert, senior vice president for Spectrum Gaming Group, an industry consultant in Atlantic City.

"State officials reported yesterday competition from slot parlors in Pennsylvania and New York caused Atlantic City to suffer a revenue decline for the first time since gaming opened in the seaside resort 29 years ago.

"Revenue fell 5.7 percent last year, to $4.92 billion, according to figures released by the N.J. Casino Control Commission. Slot machine revenue fell 8.9 percent, to $3.46 billion, while revenue from table games increased 3 percent, to $1.46 billion.

"...About one-fourth of Atlantic City's gaming customers come from Eastern Pennsylvania, so many day trippers are deciding to stay closer to home, according to Weinert..."

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