US News: Pennsylvania’s impressive 2012 revenues; Ohio wants better race track; North Carolina ban takes effect

new jersey online gambling north carolina sweepstakesPennsylvania’s impressive 2012 gambling revenue haul, one that saw it earn $3.8 billion, has helped the state earn the distinction of becoming the second most highest-earning state in gambling revenue in the US. It’s no secret that Las Vegas was the highest earning state in the country, generating $10.9 billion for the entire year. Pennsylvania’s slots revenue alone generated $2.5 billion, a record number in itself that eclipsed the $2.41 billion earned in 2011.

It’s also the second year in a row that Pennsylvania finished runner-up behind Las Vegas, generating more cash than any other state outside of the perennial first place finisher. With 11 casinos within its borders, it’s apparent that the state’s casino business is in relatively healthy shape, even if the same can’t be said for some of its neighboring states.


Ohio State Racing Commission wants a bigger – and better – race track

Moving west of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State Racing Commission recently gave preliminary approval to relocate the Lebanon Raceway. The approval comes despite the company’s partners’ – Churchill Downs Inc. and Delaware North Companies – other proposal to build a 5/8-mile race track without any barns, horse stables, and dining facilities in their clubhouse. Shawn Bailey, Churchill Downs’ senior vice president for development, indicated that the larger race track is still too small to have all the proposed upgrades put in.

Nevertheless, according to Blood-Horse magazine, the state’s racing commissioners are trying to convince the new owners of the proposed racetrack and casino to pony up on their upgrade plans, remarking that a bigger facility, including horse racing commissioner Willie Koester, who has gone on record saying that he prefers a 7/8-mile track with all the added amenities, will add to the esteem and revenue-generating capabilities of the state’s proposed new race track in Monroe.

North Carolina’s video sweepstakes ban takes effect

Finally, North Carolina’s state ban on video sweepstakes machines have taken effect, resulting in the closure of numerous Charlotte sweepstakes parlors that are taking the brunt of the hit as a result of a legislation upheld by the North Carolina’s Supreme Court.

The decision was met with disappointment from business owners, a lot of whom closed down their shops. Nevertheless, the business owners are expected to either close shop voluntarily with a percentage of operators  ready to comply with the ban by trying to circumvent the ban by changing the machines. Talking to the Charlotte Observer, Internet Based Sweepstakes Operators spokesman Bran Crone commented on the likely future of the state’s operators, saying that “90 percent of the operators will close down voluntarily.”

“Some operators may be looking at new software and new gaming options that will more than likely have to be tested in a series of new court cases,” Crone added.