As Northeast Casino Boom Continues: NY Gambles with Possibility and Risk

Large casino resorts in Atlantic City and Connecticut take a hit, as new, smaller and local casinos, attract gamblers from the surroundings areas. New York state officials are paving the way for more casino proliferation, despite some skepticism.

Gamblers who might have otherwise made the out-of-state trek to a traditional and more extravagant resort to place their bets, are choosing to stay closer to home. Case in point: the year-old slots casino located at the Aqueduct horse racing track in Queens "has emerged as the country's highest-grossing slot parlor."

"Convenience and location are the driving factors today," said William R. Eadington, director of the University of Nevada's Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. He adds, "If you put a casino in a high-density population like Queens, you'll do well."

Though modestly-sized, New York casinos have generated contrastingly bold numbers, adding billions in funds to the State in direct revenue for education. But the prospect of building more casinos, especially larger ones in dense areas like Manhattan, have heftier implications for state authorities and gambling executives to mull over.

"You may be successful with a commercial casino in New York City, but there's going to be collateral damage," said Alan Woinski, president of Gaming USA, which publishes analyses of the gambling industry. "Everybody thinks casinos print money. Those days are over. The market is becoming saturated." Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island all have slot parlors and "more casinos are on their way in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maine," reports Charles V. Bagli.

Though most gambling experts and city officials seem to agree that big casinos in dense areas are successful commercial ventures, there are some drawbacks. As more casinos infiltrate the market, other casinos might see a smaller piece of the pie. Furthermore, resort models tend to warrant a smaller tax rate to make up for larger building and operational costs.

"[State o]fficials say they want to balance economic development and tax revenue while avoiding pitfalls of increased competition and tax rate changes." writes Bagli.

Full Story: Simple but Local, Queens Slots Are Hurting Gambling Meccas

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