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Will Cleveland’s Casino Hurt Gaming In Western Pa.?

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ohio is joining the tri-state casino gold rush with the opening of its first casino in Cleveland.

So will this casino two hours from Pittsburgh hurt local casinos?

“From a guest perspective, we do receive a portion of our guests from that area,” Andre Barnabei, of the Rivers Casino, said. “Ultimately, we like guests from every area, regardless of what their zip code is.”

Barnabei is not worried.

“At Rivers, we continue to grow. We have about 1,800 folks working here on this property right now,” he said.

Three casinos operate in western Pennsylvania — the Rivers, the Meadows, and Presque Isle in Erie.

Gaming officials think Erie could be hurt the worst, losing as much as 30 percent of revenue.

Besides the potential loss of business and jobs for Pennsylvania’s casinos, a much greater worry would be if Ohio took tax revenue from the state of Pennsylvania.

In April, slots revenue from all three western casinos totaled $60 million just for that one month.

One local gamer said that’s reason enough to keep your gambling here.

“I would rather see the revenue stay in our own state,” Jim Cillo, of Ross Township, said. “That’s why we have casinos to hopefully offset our taxes and I’m waiting to see a tax rebate.”

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