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Gov. Christie’s Online Gambling Revenue Estimates Overblown Says Fitch

With New Jersey having just launched online gambling, the well-respected global rating agency Fitch Ratings have thrown somewhat of a dampener on the celebrations. In a report in Reuters Fitch Ratings are of the opinion that Gov. Chris Christie exaggerated the potential revenues from online gambling by a huge margin.

According to their estimates online gambling revenues could generate around $300 million in the next year and as much as $750 million within a few years. This is not enough to change the tide for the beleaguered Atlantic City casinos which have dropped in revenues from $5 billion in 2006 to the current $2.8 billion. Most of these revenues have been lost to neighboring states. These projections from Fitch are a far cry from the $1.2 billion estimated by Christie for the next year.

If that’s not enough to put a dampener on the party, Fitch went on to say that online gambling in New Jersey might even be detrimental to the brick and mortar casinos as many would choose the online option instead of venturing out of their homes.

Fitch analysts said,” Although some market participants will benefit, New Jersey online gambling is not going to be the savior of the casino market. 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.”

It will be interesting to see if this pessimistic evaluation of the online gambling market in New Jersey is just that or perhaps Gov. Chris Christie will have some serious explaining to do should these estimates become a reality.

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