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“Personally, I say, ‘The more the merrier,’” he said.

Unlike their counterparts in Nevada and New Jersey, most Pennsylvania casinos aren’t marketing themselves as vacation destinations. Some don’t even have adjoining hotels.

Instead, the goal of casino owners and lawmakers is to keep the gambling population in state. Luring guests from neighboring states that boast their own casinos is an unrealistic and unnecessary goal, gambling proponents say.

“I’d be satisfied to capture just the Pennsylvanians,” Mr. Rendell said. “There’s enough money to be made from them.”