Pennsylvania began offering casino and race track gambling in 2004. The state led the nation’s casino industry for several years, but revenues have started to decline. Gambling experts in Pennsylvania feel that the state should legalize online gambling to stimulate the struggling industry.
Pennsylvania casino executives point out that New Jersey casinos have started to realize returns from online gambling. Revenues have been significantly lower than initially predicted, but they are still starting to alleviate the declining revenues the state’s casino industry is facing.
One expert shared their views in The Sentinel last wetek. They stated that online gambling has already benefited casinos in New Jersey and Nevada. New York, California and several other states are contemplating regulation to boost their own faltering gambling industries and boost tax revenues. However, they fear that the window of opportunity in Pennsylvania may be closing and are urging lawmakers to act hastily.
Online gambling would likely be a boon for the Pennsylvania casino industry, but probably wouldn’t be a silver bullet for the challenges it faces. At least three New Jersey casinos will have closed down by the end of the year losing 8,000 jobs for the state. Online gambling is expected to help some of the state’s struggling casinos break even after several years of losses, but revenues may remain depressed for several years.
While online gambling may be a perfect solution, the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board is confident that it is the best step to take. The state has been losing market share to casinos in New Jersey and other neighboring states. Online gambling would allow the state’s casinos to gain an edge by reaching more customers within the state borders.