Article published on January 29, 2014
Casino Expansion Heats Up Across the United StatesBy: Harper Whitefield
The casino industry is constantly changing. At one point in time, casinos were only easily-accessible in a few parts of the country.
Now a total of 30 states have land-based casino sites, and 2014 is sure to see even more states join that category. Americans love to gamble, and as it's started to be seen as a reliable source of revenue for the state and local governments over the past few decades, the growth has been fairly steady in terms of new locations popping up over time.
Most of this growth has been in the north-east. In late 2013, New York approved changes that would allow big resort casinos to be built in various parts of the state, and that could even include in New York City. One of the problems that's coming up in the north-east in particular is that the industry is approaching the saturation point. This point occurs when you have too much of a supply compared to the demand, and you could point to the decreased activity in Atlantic City as prime example of that. With other states in the region like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania adding gambling options to more establishments, it's not unlikely that the saturation point will be passed at some time in 2014.
A good bit of this growth in other parts of the country isn't coming in the form of new locations but in the renovation of existing ones. Mississippi is still hurting from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, and they are still in the process of working on improving their some 36 casino establishments. Many of these locations offer hotels as well to make it a pretty big deal and a large contribution of tourism dollars to the state.
Overall, all of this has to be held in the context of online gambling. In New Jersey, online casinos opened up last year, and this is particular interesting because of how bad Atlantic City has been doing in recent years. They posted their first year with land-based revenues hitting under $3 billion in over two decades, and things aren't really looking like they will be improving anytime soon with many establishments opening up in New York and other nearby states. Only time will tell if they will be able to recover or if this is the beginning of the end for the East Coast casino capital.