Despite grim prospects for several Nov. 2 ballot initiatives aimed at
legalizing or expanding gambling, manufacturers and industry insiders
at the Global Gaming Expo’s opening sessions were betting slot
machines sales will enjoy a big surge in the next two years.
Their arguments, however, have shifted. Rather than state fiscal
crises driving expansion, the "domino effect" — don’t let neighboring
states tax your residents — will keep overcoming local opposition to
new gaming, they said.
Specifically, because Pennsylvania enacted a law in July to allow
slots at tracks, neighboring states — especially Maryland, Ohio,
Kentucky and New York — are expected to hustle to keep their
residents from driving across state lines to gamble, Orrin Ediden,
executive vice president of WMS Gaming, told a packed meeting room of
G2E attendees at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
There’s at least a 50-50 chance Florida will move to legalize slots
at tracks, despite vocal opposition from Gov. Jeb Bush, to head off
competition from new resorts likely to be created around expanded
racetrack operations with casinos in the Northeast.
There’s also likely to some growth in table games, with West
Virginia already moving to expand casino operations in anticipation of
the rush to add slot machines around the Mid-Atlantic region, said Tim
O’Leary, business development manager of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based
Atronic Americas, a slot machine manufacturer with operations in Las
Slot makers and industry insiders also agreed that while two ballot
initiatives in California are likely to fail, the push behind new
compacts to expand tribal casinos will only grow, adding to the push
for the expansion of manufacturing operations.