Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wall Street likes NJ's online gambling plan

Christie's gambling tax recovery target is 'optimistic,' but online still 'a good bet,' writes Moody's

Wall Street likes NJ's online gambling plan

Online poker.
Online poker.

New Jersey "projects that online gambling will add $180 million to tax revenues levied on casinos in fiscal 2014," boosting the total to $436 million, from just $235 million this year, writes Baye Larsen, senior analyst at Moody's Investors Service, in an article in today's Moody's Credit Outlook.

Gov. Chris Christie's rosy estimate for the state's 15% online-gambling tax to more than wipe out the impact of five straight years of falling revenues amid rising competition "may be optimistic," Larsen admits. But Moody's is cheering it as "a good bet" anyway since it will help offset, not just the spread of casinos across the country, but also the depression in Shore tourism following damage from storm Sandy.

But will Jersey's online bet-trimming edge persist much longer than its eroded casino advantage? Neighboring Delaware and distant Nevada have also legalized online wagers (Delaware expects $9 million in new online gambling revenues this year), and California and other states are pushing for online betting, too.

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph at or 215 854 5194.

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