Pennsylvania collected more casino taxes in the last fiscal year than any other state, passing Nevada for the first time.

The state collected nearly $1.1 billion from just nine casinos, while Nevada collected nearly a quarter-billion less from its 260 gambling halls.

Pennsylvania was able to surpass Nevada partly because while the recession caused Nevada’s tax revenues to fall by 10 percent over 2008, new casino openings in Pennsylvania caused its casino tax revenues to increase by 21 percent.

“It is pretty amazing, but not unexpected,” said Richard McGarvey, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, in an interview with the Allentown Morning Call. “Our tax is so high because the intention of the gaming law was to bring in tax money.”

Nevada’s casinos pay roughly 8 percent tax on gross casino revenue, New Jersey’s about 9 percent. Pennsylvania’s rate is 55 percent.

The upside is that it's helped the state reduce property taxes and balance a state budget in a bad economy. The downside, say analysts, is that it will prevent casinos from investing as much to build and update their properties.