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Ratings agency projects 'modest' sports betting tax revenue

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Patrons have wagered over $57 million on sports bets since New Jersey began accepting legalized sports wagering in mid-June.
Patrons have wagered over $57 million on sports bets since New Jersey began accepting legalized sports wagering in mid-June. - ()

Despite patrons wagering over $57 million on sports bets since New Jersey began accepting legalized sports wagering in mid-June, the numbers may only boil down to “modest” tax revenue for the state, according to Fitch Ratings, one of the three Wall Street ratings agencies.

Though casinos and racetracks realized $7.3 million in gross gaming revenue, only $620,000 in tax revenue trickled down for the state, according to Fitch.

Lawmakers predict $25 million in sports gaming tax revenue for the 2019 fiscal year out of $233 million in gaming taxes. New Jersey levies an 8.5 percent tax on casino and racetrack sports betting revenue, in addition to a 1.25 percent tax for racetracks.

But even with the ancillary economy surrounding sports betting, such as gambling, entertainment, food and lodging, the benefit for state and local taxes would still be “modest,” according to the Fitch report.

The report looked at the sports betting markets nationwide, and found that the limited tax impact was ubiquitous across the states where it’s legal. Other sports betting markets include Delaware, Mississippi and Nevada. West Virginia is scheduled to roll out sports betting Sept. 1.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz


Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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