Casinos no longer a sure bet for states

16 January 2009

CHICAGO, Illinois -- As reported by Reuters: "A number of U.S. states this decade bet the house on winning a share of legalized gambling's swelling jackpot.

"Industry revenues reached $91 billion in 2006, the latest year for which data is available from the American Gaming Association, thanks to a spree of casino openings beyond Nevada and New Jersey, states that long ago opted to sanction casinos.

"But with the U.S. economy in a year-long recession and consumers hoarding cash should hard times continue, casinos may no longer prove cash cows for state coffers -- as Kansas can attest.

"Kansas enacted a law for the first state-owned casinos in the U.S. in April, 2007, betting that $200 million could be raised annually for debt reduction, capital improvements and property tax relief.

"Now nearly two years later, private casino developers such as Penn National Gaming, LLC, and International Speedway Corp have dropped their plans for three out of the four casino sites, citing ailing economic conditions world wide..."

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