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March Marked All-Time High For Table Games In Pennsylvania

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania set an all-time high for gross revenue from table games last month, figures bolstered by the opening of the state’s 11th casino.

There were an average of 1,028 tables in operation across the state in March, according to the state’s Gaming Control Board, and they brought in gross revenue of $61.9 million. The latest take beats the previous all-time high for table games, when Pennsylvania casinos raked in $56.6 million with an average of 854 tables operating in February.

“Pennsylvania casinos have worked hard to refine the amount and mix of table games to meet their customer bases and maximize revenue,” gaming board Chairman William H. Ryan Jr. said in a statement. “I am optimistic that the growth in the table game sector will continue.”

The state’s first casinos opened in 2006 and table games were added in July 2010. Pennsylvania has 11 casinos, with the addition of the Valley Forge Casino in suburban Philadelphia last month.

Across the state, revenue is growing as casinos add tables.

Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem led the way with $12.1 million in gross revenue from 152 tables last month, up from $8.5 million with 100 tables during the same period a year earlier. Parx Casino in the Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem was close behind, with $11 million in gross revenue from 183 tables, up from just under $10 million from 150 tables a year earlier. Based on two test nights and one day of public operation, Valley Forge posted $276,373 in gross revenue from 50 tables.

The growth in table games revenue is another sign of the state’s growing casino market, which recently surpassed Atlantic City to become the country’s second-largest behind Las Vegas. Pennsylvania taxes casino revenue and uses it to support the state budget, public schools, civic development projects, volunteer firefighting squads, local governments and the horse racing industry.

By law, the state could one day be home to 14 casinos.

Philadelphia already has one casino, but the 2004 gambling law calls for a second one in the city. That authorization remains in limbo after the gaming board revoked a license that had been issued to Foxwoods for a project in South Philadelphia.

A resort outside Pittsburgh was awarded a license, but that decision is being challenged in the state Supreme Court. The final license is tied to a yet-to-be-built racetrack.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)