Many US casino-related stories have been making the headlines in the past week, and our round-up of the latest US gambling news will take you through some of the more prominent. You can read news regarding a potential new casino in Pennsylvania, the lifting of COVD-19 restrictions in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and an increase in casino revenues in Louisiana.
Latest US Gambling News in Pennsylvania
The proposed construction of a new 6,800 square-metre Parx Casino faced scrutiny in Pennsylvania this week. The state’s Gaming Control Board (PGCB) held a public hearing in Shippensburg to gauge the feelings of residents and businesses. There has been opposition against the proposal by some who feel the casino will have a negative impact on the town of Shippensburg.
However, an equal number have shown support for the plans based on an increase of money coming into the state and the creation of up to 175 jobs. It is claimed the Parx Casino could raise as much as $700 million per year for the state.
Perhaps this is the third time lucky for Parx. The company has already seen two previous attempts to build a casino in Pennsylvania. Local authorities vetoed the idea in both Carlisle Borough and South Middleton.
Louisiana Casino Revenue Increase for April
Lousiana casinos recorded a 4.8 increase in revenue for April. Compared to the $225.1 million brought in during March, casinos managed to bring in total revenues of $235.8 million. This increase is the result of the continued relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions in the state. Many other US states such as Pennsylvania have similar stories of increased revenues since softening coronavirus guidelines. Casinos in Lousiana can now operate without capacity restrictions although social distancing and the wearing of masks remains.
New Orleans is home to 14 casinos in total. 13 of those are riverboat casinos why the sole land based casino is situated in New Orleans.
New jersey: Smoking Soon Allowed in Atlantic City Casinos
As part of COVID-19 restrictions, casinos in Atlantic City have had to temporarily impose a ban on indoor smoking for the past 14 months. However, to the displeasure of some, that ban will lift alongside other pandemic countermeasures next month. Anti-smoking groups and advocates have declared that now would be a good time to make the banning of smoking in casinos permanent, and point to increasing gaming revenues despite the ban being in place. Most Atlantic City casinos disagree with the notion and claim that making the ban permanent would have a negative impact on their business which would result in a reduction in customers and increase the potential of job losses.
Over 1,000 casinos in the US have had to temporarily prohibit indoor smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission to Discuss Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions
Massachusets is another state set to relax COVID-19 countermeasures. While the state will relax most restrictions on May 29, the Massachusets Gaming Commission wants to hold a meeting next week to discuss what, if any, guidelines are required for gaming venues. The MGC set the meeting for Wednesday the 26th of May and have invited representatives of several Massachusetts casinos.
Currently, an inforced 40% occupancy cap is in place at all casinos in Massachusets. May 29 should see this increased or lifted all together.