YORK TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY—Gaming in Pennsylvania continues to be a growing and profitable industry. Some state leaders are hoping to expand on its success. A new study shows a surprising spot in our area could be a prime candidate for the gaming industry.
You would think new gaming would best be suited for heavy urban areas like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. But a new study shows southern York County could be the most profitable area for expansion in the entire state. Easy access to Maryland and a lack of competition around the area could make this a prime area for gaming.
Pulling the slots is paying off for Pennsylvania. Now, some state leaders are aiming to expand the revenue and locations of the gaming industry.
"When we looked at other possibilities, it was quite striking that it was in places like Reading, South York and Chambersburg," said State Treasurer Rob McCord.
McCord's office spearheaded a study that examined gambling in PA. Since the gaming industry began in 2006, the Commonwealth has netted over $5 billion in taxes and fees. In that same period, Atlantic City has lost nearly $1.5 billion.
"Pennsylvania poses quite a threat to the gross revenues and net revenues in New Jersey," McCord said.
Pennsylvania is already home ten casinos but two licenses are still available. The study shows a venue in southern York County could generate the most amount of revenue for the state. The treasurer says factors like location of other resorts across the state and in other states plays a major role in these findings.
"It's very easy to say, we will get more demand here or there, you have to ask how much of that is cannibalizing existing facilities not from other states but from existing Pennsylvania based facilities," he said.
York County tops a list of 11 different areas. The study estimates a gaming site could bring in about $154 million a year in added tax revenue. The study worries that areas in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh might be saturated with gaming choices, thus bringing down revenues.
"Let's obsess with where the opportunities are and where the threats are, not just with where the new competition has arisen but where we think that there is likely further competition coming and what that can affect in the marginal decision," McCord said.
Of the last two remaining licenses, by law, one has been designated for the Philadelphia area. The second license has to include horse racing as well.
At this point, there are no public plans for a developer in this area to try and attract one final gaming license.