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Pennsylvania rakes in more from slot machines in 2012

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Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 4:36 p.m.
 

The state's 11 casinos won $2.47 billion on slot machines last year, the sixth consecutive year revenue has increased, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced on Thursday.

The increase was 2.7 percent over 2011, or about $65 million.

Pennsylvania's 55 percent tax on slot machines earnings brought the state more than $1.3 billion.

William H. Ryan Jr., the board's chairman, said revenue has been strong despite casinos that have opened or expanded operations in Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, West Virginia and elsewhere.

Ryan said the industry employs 16,000 people statewide, supports economic development projects and provides property tax relief.

Critics have said gambling revenue has not produced the level of property tax rebates that state politicians promised when they voted to legalize casino gambling in 2004. Property owners, on average, receive about a $200 discount on their annual tax bills.

Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh's only casino, ranked third in slot machine revenue with $282 million, a 2.35 percent increase over 2011. Parx Casino in Philadelphia and Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem held the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in North Strabane ranked fifth statewide with $249 million. Its slots revenue was essentially flat compared with 2011.

Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or jboren@tribweb.com.

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