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p12 Stateside:p12 Stateside 26/10/2009 08:35 Page 12
Sharon Harris looks back at a hell of a year…
s you read this, you may be single bets on multiple sports games betting, competition, management versus union
attending G2E, searching for new courts will only allow Delaware’s new sports battles, frozen investment money and smaller
products or services. Or, you may lottery to offer parlay bets, or placing money on gamblers’ budgets has caused a continuing
be selling goods and services. On at least three National Football League (NFL) revenue decline. However, operators are now
either side of the sales games per wager. Wagering began in early focusing on promoting non-gaming
relationship, conventioneers will clutch their September. amenities year round. Casinos laid off 3,700
wallets tighter and sellers will push to cut a workers since last year, but did rehire at least
good deal. ILLINOIS: Former Governor Rod Blagojevich, 800 for seasonal work that may again end
Since 2008, everyone has faced declining who wanted to increase riverboat gaming taxes this fall.
home, investment, income and business values. up to 70% in 2003, resigned after facing To combat Delaware’s legalized sports
Gaming stocks are fighting to recapture corruption charges for trying to sell President betting, New Jersey’s federal lawsuit alleges
profitability. Casino employees confront daily Obama’s senate seat. Upon taking office, new an infringement of its state’s rights.
challenges in keeping their jobs. Governor Pat Quinn signed the Video Gaming However, has
Casinos are legal in 40 states, up 30% from Act in mid-July. named Atlantic City’s famed Boardwalk as #1
2000. States collected $6.8 billion – 1% of State officials project 40,000 or more in America. Built in 1870 as a temporary
all tax collections – in gaming tax revenues in networked machines will provide $300 million structure to keep hotel lobbies free of sand,
2008. That is a 2.2% decline, despite casino in annual tax revenues. The legislation legalizes the wooden walkway was seven miles long
openings and 37,000 new slot machines video poker, blackjack and line games, in bars, prior to a 1944 hurricane. It now stretches
nationwide. restaurants and truck stops across Illinois, plus four-plus miles long and 60 feet wide.
Gaming operators face competition fraternal and veteran organizations facilities. Wildwood, 35 miles south of Atlantic City,
everywhere. Tough times have created a The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) adapted the ranked second.
reluctant public willingness to permit some Illinois Riverboat Gaming Act (IRGA)
form of legalized gaming rather than face regulations, as they apply to discipline, OHIO: The Ohio Supreme Court ruled
higher taxes. Gaming will grow in 12 states investigation, licensing and gaming operation. (6-1) in late September that prior to the
this year, generating an estimated extra $2 Ohio Lottery Commission installing 17,500
billion in taxes in 2010.
What happened in the 365 days since the
Despite failed or stalled
video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the state’s
seven racetracks, voters must approve the
last G2E? Here are some key highlights:
Vegas projects and others
action in a statewide referendum. The
CONNECTICUT: Giant Indian casinos
barely completed, expect
ruling will delay Democratic Governor Ted
Strickland’s July 10 executive order to install
Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun both face
another 15,000 rooms
the VLTs next year.
financial trouble. Foxwoods’ Mashantucket
Pequot tribe risks defaulting on a $2.3 billion PENNSYLVANIA: After an 80-day budget
debt. Tribal sovereignty status bars the tribe NEVADA: Hit the hardest, thanks to 26% stalemate, legislators compromised by
from bankruptcy court relief and fewer conventions, a busted housing market, proposing legalized table gaming at current
restructuring. The company’s delayed declining air traffic (a 10% drop in August from and future slot casinos to generate tax
Philadelphia plans have motivated 2008) and the recession, Las Vegas revenues. One major hurdle among
Pennsylvania gaming officials to give them unemployment hit double digits in July. Nevada lawmakers is determining the one-time
one last opportunity to launch the project. has the highest home foreclosure rate in the licensing fee and the tax rate. Longtime
US. In northern Nevada, Reno, Carson City and gaming advocate, Governor Ed Rendell, and
COLORADO: As of July 2, Colorado Lake Tahoe continue to struggle with declines the Legislature are also discussing legalizing
casinos operate 24 hours, and offer roulette in tourist traffic. video poker at bars and taverns.
and craps. Betting limits were increased from Despite failed or stalled Las Vegas projects, There is some great news for Pennsylvania’s
$5 to $100. Casino revenues fell 9% last year, and others barely completed, expect another treasury. The slots at seven casinos – two
leading to a 12% drop in tax revenues. State 15,000 rooms. The $8.6 billion CityCenter, opened this year – enjoyed a 4% increase in
officials project a 10% tax revenue increase America’s largest commercial project, recently revenues from last September. With table
this year from the expanded hours and avoided a shutdown with last-minute financing. games and new properties opening over the
betting maximums. Opening in December, the 67-acre property next few years, most of the gaming financial
received 160,000 applications for 12,000 jobs. outlook is good statewide.
DELAWARE: Following an unsuccessful Happy holidays. Stay positive, and let’s
$12 million federal legal battle advocating NEW JERSEY: The perfect storm of growing hope for better days in the next 365.
12 NOVEMBER 2009
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