With slot parlors soon to open in Pennsylvania, it’s time New Jersey let Atlantic City expand its sports gambling options. It now appears that the first Pennsylvania slot machine parlors could open this year. The gambling competition for Atlantic City, a vital part of the South Jersey economy is creeping closer.
If New Jerseyans and state lawmakers want to see Atlantic City keep a leg up on the competition in surrounding states while bringing needed additional money into state coffers, and they should, Trenton ought to allow gamblers to bet on sports in Atlantic City casinos.
Pennsylvania gambling regulators came to a decision on slot machine distributors Wednesday that could allow for the first slot machines in that state to be up and running before year’s end.
Delaware has had slot machines in its horse racing tracks for several years now. And in West Virginia, state lawmakers are discussing allowing table games such as blackjack and poker at racetracks that already have slots.
Atlantic City draws visitors from all these states and others along the East Coast that have allowed or expanded gaming options in recent years.
If Atlantic City is to keep luring visitors from outside New Jersey, it must offer attractions not available at racetracks and casinos in neighboring states.
The wide array of new stores, restaurants and night clubs that have opened in the wake of the Borgata’s 2003 arrival and recent expansion are one new draw that appears to be working.
But the city’s casinos must also be able to expand their gaming options.