Though Governor Cuomo's plan to legalize gambling here is still a ways off that hasn't stopped millions of New Yorkers and our neighbors from spending away their money on the Empire State's existing options. According to a new report from Casino City Press, New York is now the third biggest state for gambling in the union, behind only Nevada and California. Poor New Jersey is now #4.
Looking at data from 2010, CCP notes that New York gambling interests generated $5.4 billion in 2010 (Nevada made $10.5 billion and California made $9.7 billion). New York’s 2010 gaming revenue rose from $4.7 billion in 2009. 2010's numbers included $1.05 billion from Native American-run casinos, $2.8 billion from the lottery and $1.08 billion from slots parlors at race tracks. Note those figures don't even include numbers from the very popular Resorts World racino at Aqueduct Racetrack! In 2011 the state's nine racinos alone raised $667 million in funds for school aid (which is about half of their total revenue).
Meanwhile, poor New Jersey saw its revenues decline in 2010 to $4.4 billion, down two billion from 2009. "New Jersey is just getting killed," Vin Narayanan, managing editor of Casino City, said. The main problem? Atlantic City, the center of gambling in the garden state, "never marketed itself as a resort town," according to Narayanan. And that has meant that busloads of people looking to try their luck are just as happy to go someplace closer for their fix. Maybe they should launch an ad campaign to coincide with the new season of Boardwalk Empire.
Also? Geez, if that Manhattan casino ever happens it is going to make its owners very, very, very, wealthy. Gamblers? Not so much.