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Fitch report: N.J. online gaming revenues will fall 'well below' Christie projections

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The Borgata was the first casino to get its online gaming permit.
The Borgata was the first casino to get its online gaming permit. - ()

By next year, Fitch Ratings projects online gaming revenue in New Jersey to come in at around $200 to $300 million.

After several years, Fitch says that number could look more like $500 to $700 million.

But in a report released Tuesday the ratings service said that even then, projections are still "well below" the $1.2 billion in its first year that Gov. Chris Christie forecasted back in March.

Fitch notes that early revenue figures will be adversely impacted by the unwillingness of some credit card companies to allow online wagering transactions.

As for Atlantic City, the report claims that while online gaming will help the troubled shore resort, it "will not single-handedly turn around" its casino market.

"Although some market participants will benefit, New Jersey online gambling is not going to be the savior of the (Atlantic City) casino market," the report said.

Fitch claims that online gaming will contribute to an ongoing supply and demand "imbalance" in the market, which is fueled by competitive neighboring markets and the steady number of casinos versus the steady decline in gaming revenue.

"In some ways, it will be detrimental because it has kept brick and mortar supply in the market when the level of demand dictates that some supply should be removed," the report said.

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Profits seen from online gaming are "unlikely" to be reinvested in the city's brick and mortar assets, the report said.

Fitch says that among the casinos themselves, there will also be online gaming winners and losers.

Both Caesars and Borgata are expected to do well, according to Fitch, as they represent the largest and most successful brands currently operating in the city.

Revel, Resorts and Atlantic Club, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, are all expected to do poorly as Fitch claims they lack both the customer base and the resources to effectively promote their online brands.

The report says it's too early to tell what will become of the mid-level tier of players such as the Golden Nugget, Tropicana and Trump.


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