Pennsylvania casinos are reporting record revenue in 2015, after 2 down years



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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania's casinos on Friday reported record revenue in 2015, after two down years as casinos sprout across the northeastern United States and competition for gambling dollars grows.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said the state's 12 casinos brought in $3.17 billion in gross revenue last year, a 3 percent increase over 2014 and a hair — $15 million — above the 2012 record.

Most of the big gainers are in eastern Pennsylvania.

The casinos reporting increases included Lady Luck Casino in southwestern Pennsylvania with 11 percent in growth, Sands Casino in Bethlehem at 9 percent, Parx Casino in suburban Philadelphia at 7 percent and Valley Forge Casino, also in suburban Philadelphia, at 6 percent.

Pennsylvania's report of revenue growth comes two days after New Jersey regulators reported that Atlantic City casinos collected 6.5 percent less last year than in 2014, and less than half of what Atlantic City's casinos took in during their best year, 2006, when annual revenue was $5.2 billion.

Still, Pennsylvania's revenue growth is in line with the region and the nation, as states keep licensing more casinos.

Joe Weinert, executive vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group in Linwood, New Jersey, said casinos in the mid-Atlantic region reported revenue growth of just above 1 percent in the 12 months through October and casinos nationally reported 2 percent growth during the same period.

"In many respects, states are saying that the solution to saturation is to add casinos," Weinert said.

A license awarded in 2014 to the Live! Hotel & Casino project in Philadelphia's stadium district is being challenged in court and a prospective racetrack project in western Pennsylvania is trying to win the state's 14th license.

The Philadelphia license is owned by a joint venture of two Eastern seaboard casino operators, the Cordish Cos. of Baltimore and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc., which operates Parx Casino in Bensalem.

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