Pennsylvania casinos could overtake AC by 2012

Pennsylvania could overtake Atlantic City in 2012

Pennsylvania could overtake Atlantic City in 2012Pennsylvania could soon surpass Atlantic City as the second largest market in the United States gambling industry if things carry on the way they’re going.

Those were the words of an analyst who told a gaming conference on Tuesday that the state could soon surpass the neighboring casino gambling industry hotbed of Atlantic City to be second only to Sin City.

As financial analysts, government officials and casino operators met for the Pennsylvania Gaming Congress and Mid-Atlantic Racing Forum in Philadelphia, they looked at where the gaming industry should go next in the eastern state.

Andrew Zarnett, a managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities, told the forum that he can see Pennsylvania overtaking AC at some point in 2012 as gamblers continue to choose to have a flutter closer to home.

“Pennsylvania overtook New Jersey in slots revenue in the middle of last year, but New Jersey is still bigger when it comes to table game revenue,” said Doug Harback, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The opinions will come as another blow to the gambling industry in the Garden State. That was after earlier this month they saw an online gambling bill fall at the final hurdle and with it their chance to become the “silicon valley” for the igaming industry in the US.

The forum also heard the recommendation that there should be a moratorium on new casinos in the state to stop it becoming over-saturated.

“Let’s make the existing folks stronger and reinvest in the existing properties,” said Alex Picou, a managing director at FBR Capital Markets & Co.

It comes as Ohio looks to become the next state to jump on the casino industry bandwagon and being able to offer something different may become all the more important for the Pennsylvanian casino industry.