Moody’s sees tough future for Atlantic City

Moody’s Investors Services assessed Atlantic City’s future among New Jersey’s municipalities and forecasted a tough future for the segment.

US.- New Jersey governor Phil Murphy issued cutbacks that may impact in several municipalities. That’s why credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Services assessed Atlantic City and forecasted a tough future. Analysts say such moves will ultimately impact the city, including the gaming segment, turning it into a “high credit risk.”

The governor recently announced he was suspending US$235 million in spending items. Out of the US$104.8 million in transitional aid, Atlantic City has received a total US$43.1 million in aid money. The state transferred such assistance over the past three years, as gaming tumbled.

“Given the frequently razor-thin margins of error in distressed municipal budgets, a suspension can lead to the need for draconian cost-cutting or large tax increases,” Moody’s said about Atlantic City.

Still, Moody’s kept Atlantic City’s rating the same: “B2/positive.” That means that the area is in the “speculative” class. “State control has had a strong, positive effect on the city’s financial position, which remains weak.”

Sports betting’s performance

Figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) days ago indicate that the local casinos and racetracks handled US$273 million in bets last month. These results also show that in just a year, New Jersey has registered US$3.2 billion in sports bets.

New Jersey started accepting its first legal bets on June 14, 2018. In just one year, the state has accepted US$3.2 billion in bets, which challenges Nevada as the nationwide leader when it comes to sports betting. Nevada is historically the best sports betting performer.

Collectively, the two racetracks and the casinos in the state authorised to offer sports bets won approximately US$284 million in June. This figure represents a 21.5% increase over the same period a year ago.

Jeff Gural, operator of the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, said: “I am frankly shocked at how well we have done.” The racetrack totalled US$58 million in sports betting revenue, which is more than what the entire Atlantic City casino industry earned.