The American Gambling Association is crowing about its new report that suggests that gamblers are returning to casinos across the land. The report, which makes only limited use of data from states with Indian casinos, focuses on commercial gambling revenues. All of this is good news for Massachusetts, which is gearing up to enter the casinos sweepstakes (and snatch Connecticut’s golden goose).
Roughly speaking, it looks like we are back to about 2007. Unfortunately for Connecticut, over the last six years gambling has exploded in our neighboring states of New York and Rhode Island, with Massachusetts soon to join the party.
The AGA points out that commercial casino revenue rose 4.8 percent in 2012 to $37.84 billion. Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president of the AGA (and father-in-law to GOP gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley), sees a lot of optimism on the casino floor:
After three years of increasing growth and positive signs in all sectors of the industry, it’s clear that we have weathered the recession … Whether we look at jobs, casino visitors served or tax revenues being provided, the bottom line is that there is much to be optimistic about in the commercial casino industry.
(Note: if the chart below included table games, Connecticut could rank as high as #3.)