New Castle News

Hot Topics

November 7, 2013

Our Opinion: New York referendum further saturates casino market

NEW CASTLE — An old saying goes that nothing succeeds like success.

And that’s undoubtedly part of the reason New York voters approved a referendum Tuesday that will dramatically expand casino gambling in that state.

As a result of that ballot issue, the Empire State will add as many as seven casinos to its already existing stable of racetracks, video lottery terminals and Native American casinos.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the referendum results: “This vote will keep hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year in neighboring states right here in New York ...”

A quick check of the map will show Pennsylvania is one of those neighboring states Cuomo is referring to. Interestingly, several of the new casinos will be located along New York’s southern tier, near the Pennsylvania border.

There’s no doubt Pennsylvania’s perceived success with casino gambling is a factor in New York’s move. The commonwealth has become the largest generator of casino revenue in the nation.

It’s no coincidence that Pennsylvania and Ohio are both pushing for casinos and horse tracks in this region right at the border. In many ways, casinos are the reverse of old frontier forts. Instead of deterring outsiders, they are intended to lure them in.

For government and politicians, expanded gambling has the advantage of generating revenue without increasing taxes. The argument is that gambling is a voluntary activity, with individuals having the choice of providing money to government or not.

And for a while, casino gambling in Pennsylvania had the look of an ever-growing golden egg, with new revenue records set every month. But recently, that trend has reversed. Apparently, people either have only so much money they are willing to lose at casinos or they are getting bored with the gambling thing.

Yet if government becomes accustomed to a certain level of gambling funds, a decline in players creates a problem. And this difficulty is compounded when neighboring states have the audacity to establish their own casinos as competition.

Meanwhile, the expansion of gambling inevitably creates new pressures to offer betting opportunities for other sources seeking a piece of the action. In Pennsylvania, legislation is under consideration to allow bars and restaurants to offer small games of chance.

But that move is drawing fire from volunteer fire departments and other nonprofit organizations that now have the ability to run these games. They view the competition as a threat to their revenue. And they’re probably right.

The reality is that even gambling has its limits as a money maker. And it’s looking like Pennsylvania has reached its threshold.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Hot Topics
  • Our Opinion: New study suggests problem with some state shale gas wells

    A recent study of leaks from shale gas wells raises more questions than it answers. And because of the growing presence of shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, it’s essential that both government and industry provide clarity.

    July 9, 2014

  • 08.jpg Gaming board asked to take a chance here

    Lawrence County deserves a chance, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was Thursday. All seven board members, their staff, hearing officer Linda Lloyd and 200 to 225 others attended the board’s public hearing at the Mahoning Township Community Center.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Casino.jpg Area residents, groups to speak at casino hearing

    Some 55 individuals and organizations have registered to speak tomorrow at the Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort Public Input Hearing. The list was released yesterday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Board, which will conduct the hearing at 10 a.m. at the Community Center in Mahoning Township on Route 224.

    May 7, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Austintown racing complex anticipates fall opening

    Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course will open in the fall. No specific date has been set, but work is progressing on several fronts on 186 acres in Austintown, Ohio. The site — less than 30 miles from New Castle — is accessible from Ohio Routes 46 and 11 and Interstate 80.

    May 7, 2014

  • gavel.jpg Holdout property owners file for injunction

    Holdout landowners are asking Commonwealth Court to declare that forced pooling violates the state constitution.

    May 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Holdout landowners retain Pittsburgh attorney; ask hearings be postponed

    A Pittsburgh attorney is asking that next month’s hearings on forced pooling be postponed. Atty. Omar Abuhejleh also filed a motion with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Friday allowing the affected landowners to formally intervene in the case filed by Hilcorp Energy Co.

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangers of fracking the topic at Villa Maria

    Public health concerns about fracking must be addressed, a nurse practitioner told approximately 150 people at Villa Maria on Thursday.

    April 26, 2014

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Anti fracking group waits for answer to its letter

    More than 20 state environmental groups are asking that March 25 and 26 hearings on proposed “forced pooling” be postponed. They say more time is necessary to allow members of the public to voice their opinions.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Hilcorp_Energy.jpg Hilcorp seeks to force drilling on reluctant landowners

    A hearing has been set on a request to force local landowners to allow gas and oil drilling. Hilcorp Corp., a Texas firm with multiple well pads in the area, is asking for the so-called “forced pooling.”

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results