Brick & Mortar gaming expansion continues in US

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 16, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Online poker is still a very contentious issue around the country, both at the state and federal live, but it appears that Brick & Mortar gambling is becoming far more acceptable to state legislatures as well as residents who are continually passing legislation and referendums to expand gambling within their borders.

The latest rash of expanded gambling came in the recent election, where Maryland and Rhode Island both voted to expand gambling, turning their slot parlors into full casinos with table games, including poker. Maryland’s expansion is the larger of the two, while Rhode Island will turn its slot casino, Twin Rivers, into a full-fledged gambling parlor with table games and poker. Rhode Island voters did vote against expanded gambling in Newport.

Maryland will see their expansion occur in two phases; according to the Baltimore Sun from this website,” Current plans for Maryland Live call for blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and sic bo tables to be ready in the spring. No poker tables will be added in the first phase, but eventually up to one-third of the casino’s tables will be for poker games.” A spokesman for Maryland Live says the casino took table games into consideration when they designed the premises, and the transition from slots parlor to full casino should be relatively seamless.

In both locales the measures will see an increase in jobs as well as revenue for the state. Maryland’s expansion is expected to see some 800 dealers hired, replacing the video versions of table games currently in place, as well as increased jobs in security, hospitality and other areas of the casino.

The expansion by Rhode Island and Maryland comes on the heels of many of their neighbors doing likewise in 2010 and 2011. Everywhere from Washington to Massachusetts, and from Pennsylvania to Florida have seen expanded gambling, with most stets doing so as a way to increase revenues into their deficit-ridden coffers.

The expansion means that there are no longer “hotspots” for gambling sojourns. The days of Atlantic City and Las Vegas being the only destinations for gambling are gone for good, and even areas like California (with their long legal card-rooms), Connecticut, and tribal casinos around the country have seen a drop-off in revenues as more and more casinos and cardrooms are opened closer to home.

While many patrons are happy with the closer proximities, it’s starting to become clear that the oversaturation may be doing more harm than good to the industry itself, as competition for players is at an all-time high. Many longstanding cash cows have been reporting massive losses from Las Vegas to Connecticut, and this may only get worse as more and more casinos are built and gaming expanded.

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