Fitch Slashes NJ iGambling Revenues To Just $120m

Fitch Slashes NJ iGambling Revenues To Just $120mThe state of New Jersey has been reeling recently as its casino industry continues to be battered by streams of grim news that threatens to turn the east coast gambling hub into a second Detroit. This week the news got worse after credit rating firm, Fitch Ratings, cut its estimated igaming revenues for 2014 from $200/$300 million to just $120/$130 million.
Prior to New Jersey launching its first online gambling site in November 2013, Governor Chris Christie predicted igaming would bring the state more than $1 billion in annual revenues, but for the first seven months of operations New Jersey has generated a mere $63.05m in revenues, with online casino games accounting for $46.37 million of that tally, and online poker $16.67 million.
Needless to say, The Garden State’s online gambling industry hasn’t developed the way optimists were touting, and explaining the reason behind its latest cut in forecasts, Fitch Ratings wrote:
“Several factors we had expected to drive sequential growth have not materialized, including a ramp-up in players’ awareness of online gaming as a result of operators’ marketing efforts. The number of online gaming accounts increasing 8 percent in June to 378,564 from 351,136 in May, and tripling since December, has not translated into increased revenue. Other factors expected to drive growth include technology improvements, users’ adaption to the available payment methods and the rollout of mobile products.”
When online gambling was introduced to NJ it was hoped revenues would help give its battered casino industry a much-needed shot in the arm, but things have continued to go from bad to worse. This year alone the Showboat Casino, the Trump Plaza Casino, and Revel, are expected to follow in the footsteps of The Atlantic Club Casino and shut shop, cutting Atlantic City casino numbers by a third.
For the first time New Jersey is even considering allowing casinos to be built outside of AC, with a possible location cited as Meadowlands near New York City. However, Fitch has warned such a move would also present additional risk for Atlantic City casinos, which have seen their revenues plummet from $5.2 billion in 2006, to just $2.86 billion last year.

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