Game time: Both New York and Massachusetts will press ahead this year to get Las Vegas-style casinos built in the near future. *AFP photo
Game time: Both New York and Massachusetts will press ahead this year to get Las Vegas-style casinos built in the near future. *AFP photo

A historic vote on allowing hotels to operate casinos in Bermuda is expected this year.

If approved, it’s unlikely to see resort-casinos spring up overnight as the hotels will need to find the right overseas partner to help manage the table and slot machines that come with territory.

On top of that, there will be a slew of competition. What used to be the domain of Nevada, Atlantic City and Mississippi, casinos are sprouting up all across the US.

Both New York and Massachusetts have said they will allow Las Vegas-style casinos in their states. In total, 30 US states have some sort of casino.

Here’s a rundown of what’s happening.



New York

Last November , New Yorkers voted for an amendment that will allow seven Las Vegas-style casinos to operate. Between one to three of those will operate in New York City, but it could take up to seven years for those casinos to become operational.

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said a board will be appointed by the end of this month to select the sites for the casinos.

Operators must have their bids in by June and construction is expected to start by the end of the year after the winners are announced.

The state already has 18 casinos, nine owned by Native American tribes and nine attached to race tracks, which have video lottery terminals inside of them (officially called racinos).


Massachusetts

The state approved three casinos to be built in 2011. Each of the Las Vegas-style casinos will be built in a different region to spread out the economic impact.

In April, the Massachusetts gambling Commission is expected to announce who won the licences for the casinos. 

MGM is one of the major players hoping to get a foothold in the casino revenue for Massachusetts. 


Pennsylvania

The state currently has 12 casinos. Two are resort (aka Las Vegas-style), four standalones and six racinos.

In Pennsylvania, a new law allowing bars to add gambling with the licence period opening on January 27.

The Reading Eagle paper reported “More than 2,500 bars are expected to apply” to have gambling in their establishments.

There is some concern that this could hurt the casinos that operate within the state as it pulls from the base of customers. 

The current model that is successful in Pennsylvania is one of the major casino groups operates the resort and builds a complex that not only includes banks and banks of slot machines and hundred os gambling tables, but also has retail outlets, numerous restaurants — including signature brands like Emeril Lagasse — and an events centre that can host big name entertainment.

Even with that, because of regional competition, gambling revenues fell from $2.47 billion to $2.38 billion from 2011 to 2012. 


New Jersey

With the states surrounding it allowing for casino gambling, New Jersey has suffered. 

The Atlantic Club Casino was purchased by Caesars Entertainment Corp and Tropicana Entertainment Corp with the sole purpose of shutting it down as Atlantic City is facing shrinking casino revenue with competition booming from other states. 

The state is now down to 11 casinos, all in Atlantic City.


Mississippi

In Mississippi, the Hard Rock Biloxi’s new Platinum hotel tower will open in February.

The state has a total of 36 casinos and there is a resurgence in casino gambling as two new hotels will be built — The Margaritaville Casino Biloxi and Silver Slipper. 

The Sun Herald reports that renovations are in full swing at the Grand Biloxi, Golden Nugget, Island View’s south tower and Palace casinos.


Virginia

In Virginia, there is a bill before the house of assembly to allow casino gambling in Hampton Roads. It is one of 20 states that does not have a casino.


Florida

Florida will consider a bill in March that would allow the state to open up to Las Vegas-style casino resorts. The drawback is Florida gets $1 billion over five years from the Seminole Tribe, who currently have exclusive rights to offer card games. If the state stops the exclusivity deal, then the Tribe can stop paying. 

The state currently has eight Native American casinos and 25 racinos. 


Maryland

A casino built in Rocky Gap, Maryland is being credited in helping Allegany County lead the state in tourism growth. 

Maryland has four casinos with one to open this year and another to open by 2016. 

The one opening this year has partnered with the World Series of Poker brand. MGM Resorts is operating the one that will open in 2016.


Ohio

Ohio currently has eight casinos but three more are expected to open by July.

Casino revenue in Ohio slipped for the first time. Tax figures show that for the last quarter of 2013 revenue for the state was down from $70.2 million to $68.7 million.

The figures, which were released by the Ohio Department of Taxation, sent school districts and cities scrambling as their cut of casino tax revenues will now be less.