Moody's Investors Service revised its outlook for casino gambling to negative from stable, citing what appears to be a "fundamental downward shift" in consumers' appetites for gambling outside the Las Vegas Strip.
Moody's estimated that total U.S. gaming revenues reported by state authorities will decrease between 3 percent and 5 percent during the next 18 months.
Previously, Moody's had predicted that revenue would be flat or climb by as much as 2 percent. Weak results in April and May, following a terrible winter in the Northeast, were a key factor in the Moody's revision.
Eleven of 15 states, including New Jersey, that have reported results for May showed declines in year-over-year revenues from gambling. Pennsylvania was among the gainers, eking out a 0.4 percent gain. - Harold Brubaker