May 24, 2015 |
When Mercedes Stephens recently hit a jackpot at SugarHouse Casino, her slot machine flashed the faces of 12 cartoon buffaloes - and then it locked up. Stephens, 47, had won more than $1,200, which meant she had to stop playing and sign an IRS tax form that reports her winnings. The process took about five minutes, she said. But the gaming industry warns that the interruption could soon eat away at casino profits and - ironically - billions in gambling tax revenue that flow into Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
May 13, 2013 |
Is it just me, or does it feel a little, I don't know, gross that, while we're awash in headlines about a "Doomsday Budget" for our public schools, a cadre of well-coiffed businessmen are sharing grandiose plans for yet another Philadelphia casino? How'd we get here? Seems as if, over the last decade, gaming has become a type of crack cocaine for a whole generation of politicians: With their budgets squeezed by economic downturn and an electorate all too willing to vote out of office anyone who considers a tax hike, our so-called leaders - rather than make the hard choices and right-size their governments - have opted for the quick-fix high of casinos, long-term consequences be damned.
May 8, 2013 |
New Jersey saw the largest declines in gross gaming and tax revenues among the 22 states in which commercial casinos operated in 2012. Philadelphia remained the No. 1 racetrack-gaming market in the country last year, with $835.3 million in gross gaming revenue generated, led by Parx in Bensalem for the third consecutive year. And increasingly, patrons between ages 21 and 35 are frequenting casinos - about 39 percent of those surveyed for the first time - visiting nongambling amenities such as nightclubs and restaurants.
May 11, 2012 |
Pennsylvania had one of the nation's largest gaming-revenue increases last year, while New Jersey — marked by Atlantic City's ongoing problems with new competition — reported the biggest decline in revenue, according to an economic-impact study released Wednesday. For the second year in a row, revenue from U.S. commercial casinos increased, rising 3 percent last year to $35.6 billion, to continue the recovery that began in 2010, according to the annual State of the States report by the Washington-based American Gaming Association.
January 17, 2011
In the editorial "More gambling, more losers" (Wednesday), The Inquirer once again demonstrated an unfair bias against the gaming industry, as well as blatant disregard for the facts. During the past 30 years, the gaming industry has indeed expanded widely - both within Pennsylvania and across the country. But countless studies confirm the prevalence rate of pathological gambling has remained virtually unchanged during that time, holding steady at about 1 percent of Americans. This is settled science.
September 28, 2010
Thursday's editorial, "Gaming is a gamble," maligns an industry that has provided tremendous benefits to people - including many of your readers. Casino gaming has brought thousands of good jobs, millions of dollars in tax revenues, and opportunities for local businesses to communities throughout the state. What it hasn't brought are the vast social ills gambling critics like to attribute to casinos. In fact, those who take time to look at the realities would see that casinos have become valuable allies embraced by their communities.
June 23, 2010
I was deeply disappointed that The Inquirer chose to make light of last week's terrible incident at Parx Casino ("Slots for tots," Saturday), in which a gambler left a child in a car. Problem gambling must be addressed with thoughtful solutions, not flippancy and sarcasm. The gaming industry has long recognized that some people cannot gamble responsibly. As a result, we have implemented robust responsible-gaming programs at casinos across the country and contributed millions of dollars to fund independent, peer-reviewed research on disordered gambling.
June 12, 2009
Though the American Gaming Association does not take a position on expanded gambling, we would like to respond to the baseless claims made in Monday's editorial "Too big a gamble for Pennsylvania. " Gaming has been legal in Pennsylvania for nearly five years, and, during that time, casinos have not compounded social problems in gaming communities throughout the state. For example, state trooper reports from Monroe Country - home to Mount Airy Casino Resort - document virtually no increase in local crime rates.
December 7, 2008
Funding resurgence Your story about the hopelessness and hunger indigenous to North Philadelphia ("Flashes of reality in N. Phila.," Sunday) dovetailed perfectly with the topic of federal aid at the governors' meeting with President-elect Obama in Philadelphia. The nation's urban centers are dead or dying. Philadelphia has, once again, come face to face with fruit born of decades of bad legislation, dysfunctional city government, race-based politics, special-interest influence, and federal-government abandonment, in the form of a $1 billion deficit.
August 27, 2007 |
One problem gambler is one too many. It's a mantra I adopted during more than quarter-century in the commercial casino gaming-entertainment business, and it was often met with skepticism. Frankly, I can't blame those who questioned my sincerity. After all, I represented the "industry. " Fair enough. As Philadelphians and other Pennsylvanians have just experienced, any time casino gaming is discussed, there are a multitude of dueling "experts. " And nothing is more controversial than problem gambling.