Keeping up with the Joneses

A border war appears to be evolving as state governments in the USA try to counter their budget gaps by loosening the restrictions on gambling to increase state revenues. The big news is Pennsylvania’s decision to legalize table games including poker and blackjack, but other states vote to keep up. Chicago plans a new casino, Ohio votes for new casinos in four of its cities. West Virginia added table games to their horse tracks last month, Kentucky’s governor wants the same, and Delaware now allows parlay betting at their race tracks. Indiana is considering setting loose a flotilla of riverboat casinos on its waters, and Maryland drastically ups its number of approved slot machines by 15.000.

Despite the gambling wars the U.S. gambling industry is definitely feeling the recession. Gambling still accounts for a substantial share of state revenue in many states, but with gambling profits having decreased sharply in the course of the economic recession casinos have taken measures such as changing blackjack payouts from 3:2 to 6:5 and reintroducing the lower stakes blackjack tables to stay on top.

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