Casino revenues in Pennsylvania are up over a year ago even in these recessionary times. Atlantic city and Las Vegas may be hurting but don’t tell that to Pennsylvania’s casino and their slot machine business. Revenues in February 2009 rose 14 % over the same period last year.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reports that the combined gross revenue for the casinos was $126 million. This was an increase of $16 million over last February’s numbers.

Leading the casinos was Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with a 43.5 % increase to $17.8 million.
Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Poconos registered a 31.5 % increase up to $15.2 million.
The Meadows Casino in the Pittsburgh area was up 20 % to $20.5 million.

It looks like Pennsylvanians love to gamble and especially love the slots. The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is waiting with excitement to join the club of successful casinos when it goes online on May 22, 2009.

The $743 million Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem will open May 22, 2009 just in time for the Memorial Day weekend with 3,000 slot machines and 4 restaurants. Big question however in this recession economy is – Will people come?

Las Vegas Sands Corp who is building the project has been forced to scale back because of the recession. Work was stopped on the hotel and shopping mall portion of the project. The Bethlehem Sands will open with 3,000 slot machines and four restaurants on the site of Bethlehem Steel’s former plant.

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The Sands Corp feels that the Bethlehem casino’s proximity to millions of potential customers in New York and northern New Jersey gives it an advantage because gamblers will not have to fly to get to their new casino.

Las Vegas and other destination gambling markets continue to struggle as consumers scale back spending. Pennsylvania’s casino industry however continues to grow, and posted a 6.7 % increase in gross terminal revenues from January 2008 to January 2009, according to state statistics.

Are you planning to visit the casino this year and gamble?

The Census Bureau released on Feb. 3 2009 the top cities with vacant homes and apartments based on fourth-quarter data. These rankings are a combination of rental and homeowner vacancy rates. Las Vegas is in the top spot followed by Detroit in 2nd. place. Atlanta came in 3rd., Greensboro, N.C. was 4th., and Dayton, Ohio 5th.

        Top Vacant Cities:
        1. Las Vegas
        2. Detroit
        3. Atlanta
        4. Greensboro, N.C.
        5. Dayton, Ohio

What does this mean to you? Well vacancy rates in these spots spell lots of empty neighborhoods in these cities. Las Vegas and Orlando, are largely victims of the recent housing bust. Other cities like Detroit and Dayton are casualties of the long industrial decline that has occurred in America. The loss of manufacturing to the point that America is now a 2/3 service driven economy.

We need to get more manufacturing back to this country that will in turn create more jobs. The increase in jobs will in turn allow more people to buy homes and rent apartments
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