Slot revenues soar in Pennsylvania

32 percent rise in gross revenue at nine state casinos

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released some startling statistics this week, revealing that the nine land casinos in the state had delivered a 31.97 percent increase in gross gaming revenues over the same period in 2008.

For the month of October 2009, the nine operating casinos generated $177 111 933 in gross revenue (Oct. 2008: $134 203 554.37) thanks to increased business and an additional two casinos.

The consequent growth in tax collections of $97 411 563 resulted in $23 599 608 being returned to Commonwealth citizens than those of last October. Pennsylvania's tax rate is 55 percent of gross revenue.

In a measurement of just the seven casinos in operation this October that were also in operation last year, revenue was up 6.23 percent, the news agency Reuters reported in analysing the latest numbers.

The average daily number of slot machines in operation in Pennsylvania was 16 833 in October 2008 and 24 712 in October 2009.

Gaming Control Board Chair Greg Fajt said that while tax revenue is certainly assisting Pennsylvanians statewide in obtaining a property tax reduction averaging nearly $200 and saving the horse racing industry, slot machine-generated revenue is also reaching into the local communities that host or are neighbours to casinos.

"In the first three years of legalised gaming, $221 124 306 has already been distributed to local governments and counties from the play of slot machines at facilities that operate in or near their jurisdiction," Fajt says. "This is new money coming into these communities to fund a myriad of projects that improve safety and transportation, create or retain jobs, and enhance the quality of life."

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