ith the us$ 27.9 billion state budget agreement being finalized, lawmakers are working out legislative avenues for the authorizing the legalization of table games, a move designed primarily to help plug the state’s us$ 3 billion shortfall.
Since 2004, slots have proved a boon to the Pennsylvania economy, generating us$ 187 million in August 2009 alone, with a daily average of us$ 3.32 million heading back to Pennsylvanians. That’s a 20 % rise in slot machine-generated gross revenue since August 2008, thanks to the addition of two new slots parlors. Eventually, Pennsylvania will have 14 casinos in operation.
However, a side benefit to table games would be the creation of a slew of new jobs — a major selling point for support among Pennsylvanians.
About 8,000 people are now employed statewide in the legalized gaming industry. There are another 8,000 additional construction jobs associated with the gaming facilities. That number could more than double in the year ahead, should casino operators grab licenses for table games. There’s indication that will happen, but not without complicated negotiations about how disparate tax structures could impact gaming expansion.
At Hollywood Casino at Penn National in East Hanover Township, table games are seen as a way to create a more complete entertainment facility. It will also mean a surge in jobs, too, with industry estimates indicating that each casinos would boast between 50 and 100 gaming tables.
With an industry report that says each table game generates about 9.75 jobs, that means Hollywood Casino could see at least 500 to 1,000 new jobs in the next year.