[toc]Just days after Gov. Tom Wolf signed a sweeping gaming reform package into law, Pennsylvania is already reaping the rewards.
Per the AP, Valley Forge Casino paid the state $1 million to remove the amenity fee provision. The provision required all casino players to either be guests at the hotel or pay a fee to use the property’s amenities.
For Pennsylvania, Valley Forge’s $1 million payment is just the beginning. The various components of the gaming reform bill are projected to bring in $250 million during the current fiscal year.
Removal of amenity requirement is good for Valley Forge
The off-putting amenity fee made it difficult for Valley Forge to compete with other casinos in the state.
Patrons of Valley Forge and the state’s other Category 3 “resort” casino, Lady Luck, viewed the fee as nothing more than a door charge. And making matters worse, many visitors were unaware of the charge and didn’t understand why the casino was charging the fee.
That will no longer be an issue. Valley Forge Casino Resort President and CEO Eric Pearson explains:
“Since opening five years ago, we have been constrained by the amenities requirements and membership fees which have confused and frustrated our guests. We are thrilled to be able to welcome our guests to our casino in the same manner as the other Pennsylvania casinos. Lifting this special requirement for guests to enter the casino allows us to better serve our existing guests, and puts us in a better position to attract new visitors to our property.”
The gift that keeps on giving for the state
Now that the amenity fee is a thing of the past, revenues at Valley Forge will almost certainly start ticking up. That means more tax revenue for the state.
Furthermore, Valley Forge can also take advantage of several other aspects of the newly passed gaming law.
Valley Forge could pay another $1 million to add an additional 15 table games. Or a $2.5 million payment allows them to add up to 250 slot machines.
The casino could also apply for an online gaming license. Plus, depending on the outcome of New Jersey’s Supreme Court case, sports betting is also a possibility.
All told, the $1 million Valley Forge paid will amount to a drop in the bucket compared to the tax revenue it will send it to the state. If the casino can realize 10 percent gaming growth, Pennsylvania will receive another $10 million or so in revenue.
But Pearson and Valley Forge are taking things one step at a time.
“Our immediate first steps are to lift the access restrictions,” Pearson said. “Secondarily we’ll explore the options related to expanding our gaming offerings.”