November Brings In Close to $5 million for Poker Rooms of Pennsylvania

The poker rooms in the state of Pennsylvania did quite well during the month of November, bringing in close to $5 million in revenues. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board revealed that the money produced $4.87 million from players who took to the felt, with 225 poker tables operating for the month across the state.

The November 2016 figures were slightly higher than what was earned last year. For the month in 2015, $4.83 million was produced. Poker rooms have been operating in the state for a decade, having produced just over $360 million in the process. The top earner was the Parx Casino who brought in $1.42 million from the operation of 45 gaming tables.

Pennsylvania is steadily becoming the top state in the US when it comes to the gambling industry. By just looking at poker earnings for November, the state has taken the top spot, outperforming New Jersey and Maryland, two states who offer a nice selection of casinos and gambling facilities. New Jersey was just under Pennsylvania with $4.6 million in poker revenues but this was online and land based combined. Maryland earned only $2.67, almost half of what Pennsylvania was able to produce.

The amount that Pennsylvania was able to earn is astonishing, considering that online gambling is not available in the state just yet. Lawmakers are trying to pass legislation to get the ball rolling but efforts have been stalled. Based on how the industry is currently operating, the state would see success if they were to offer online poker as well as casino gaming.

It will certainly be interesting to see how well the state performs once legislation is in place. Pennsylvania is still a front runner when it comes to being the next state in the US to legalize and regulate online poker.

NJ Referendum Rejection Leads to Expansion at Pennsylvania Casino

While New Jersey will not be expanding casino gaming into the northern region of the state, this decision has opened up one casino venue in Pennsylvania to announce a major expansion. If gaming had been approved for North Jersey, the Sands casino of Bethlehem might not be considering the $90 million expansion they just announced this week. The casino will be adding more table games and slot options now that gaming is not a threat in any other area of New Jersey besides Atlantic City.

The Sands Bethlehem will now have to wait until state gaming regulators agree to the plans of construction proposed. The construction process could start as soon as January but approval will be needed for the addition of table games.

Currently in the state, there is a cap that allows casinos to only offer a maximum of 250 table games. With the addition that the Sands is planning, they would be over this cap. The state gaming board always expected that a casino would eventually ask to go over the cap and they assumed that the Sands would be the first to do so.

The expansion will include gaming options but so much more. More dining space will be added for guests along with public restrooms and back-of-house facilities. Sands Bethlehem President, Mark Juliano, stated that the casino is proud to continue their commitment towards reinvestment in the property by making this significant addition. Officials are planning on making the addition in the parking lot that currently sits at the north of the casino.

Since the addition will be placed in the parking lot, the parking area will actually be smaller. More parking will be provided within the property along with parking available in an area near the Hoover Mason Trestle. It will be interesting to see if approval will be provided and what exactly the Sands will be added to the property.

Bar Gambling Options Coming to Pennsylvania

Gambling initiatives have been in full swing in several states in the US. Some states are looking at internet gambling while other states are considering brick and mortar gambling options for the very first time. The state of Pennsylvania is one that has looked into online gambling and may decide to create legislation, but for now the state is focusing on another avenue of gambling. The State Senate has just passed a bill which will allow for gambling in bars and taverns.

Just last week the state senate passed a law that will allow these establishments to apply for licenses to offer gambling games from raffles to small scale gaming. The new games are expected to bring in $156 million if as many as 2,000 establishments will sign up for the opportunity and gain licenses.

During the vote for legislation, the approval was approved 34-15. The measure amended the Local Option Small Games of Chance Act which was created in 1988. The state has a very large gambling market, second behind Nevada. The state just surpassed New Jersey last year with gambling and has 12 casinos in the state.

The new option will bring in much needed revenues and will be one more way the state can hold on to their gambling lead in the US. The state is also watching to see how well online gambling does in other states before considering their own legislation. Pennsylvania leaders are closely watching Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey to see how well the sites doe before entering the market.

In 2014, we should see more states begin to pass legislation for gambling options, both in land play as well as with online gambling. The industry is slowly growing and is exciting for those who enjoy gambling games.


Pennsylvania Police Break up Gambling Operation

All across the United States police officials are being forced to break up illegal gambling operations. These types of operations usually take place in areas of high crime or those states that do not offer gambling opportunities. Just last week nine people were charged with being part of an illegal gambling syndicate. The group operated from many businesses located in Philadelphia and now faces charges for their actions.

The indictment of this case was just unsealed last week and stated that those charged in the case face several charges including: conspiracy, operating an illegal gambling business, racketeering conspiracy, unlawful debt racketeering collection, possession of a firearm and more. Of the nine charged two face life in prison if they are convicted. The others included in the case could face as many as twenty years in prison for the charges.

The indictment stated that the defendants and the associates who worked with the businesses in Philadelphia, including restaurants, coffee shops and cafes. These businesses were used for loan sharking activities and illegal gambling.

According to the records, the defendants generated money by placing and collecting loans. These loans had large interest rates and the group would use intimidation and threats as well as means of violence to collect on these loans. The group would make loans to bettors and then collect as part of the illegal gambling operation.

The defendants have been charged with running a violent loan business with gambling included. The group used violence as part of their scheme and the US is not going to tolerate the criminal activity of those involved. David Memeger the United States Attorney commented that this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated when financial weakness is preyed upon and the physical safety of individuals and family members are threatened.


Poker Dealer Fighting Large Fine in Gambling Theft Case

In the state of Pennsylvania, there is a law that was created to protect the gambling industry. The law imposes a very large fine on anyone who steals from a casino in the state. Matthew Eisenberg, a twenty seven year old poker dealer, is now fighting this law in his casino theft case.

Eisenberg worked at The Rivers Casino and decided to place $200 of casino chips to himself for tips. He was caught in the act and was charged for the crime. He decided to plead guilty and now faces a fine of $75,000 minimum. This is an outrageous amount of money especially considering Eisenberg only stole $200. Even more surprising is that the maximum fine for this crime is $150,000.

The lawyer representing Eisenberg is asking the court to take away the fine as it is excessive according to the constitution of the state and considered cruel and unusual punishment based on the US constitution. The crime is clear, Eisenberg knows what he did was wrong but to have to pay years in the amount of salary for $200 seems absurd.

Officials of the state say the fine is set to punish as well as deter thefts from happening within the gambling establishments. Michael Santicola, the lawyer representing Eisenberg for free, states that they realize this battle is an uphill one but one that they believe is worth taking.

Amy Constantine is the Assistant District Attorney in the case and she argues that research has been conducted of the legislative history of the law statute and they found that stiff fines were created to lawmakers concerns who were opposed to gambling. The laws were created in a sense to discourage any type of perception of illegality.

It will be interesting to see if the fine will eventually be lowered in this case or if the former poker dealer will have to pay a very large amount of money for one small mistake.