Rating firm turns bearish on casinos

Fitch Ratings anticipates that regional gambling revenue will struggle to meet long-term growth proj

Fitch Ratings anticipates that regional gambling revenue will struggle to meet long-term growth projections nationwide, according to a report released Monday.

The report points to saturation among regional markets, stagnating wages earned by gamblers and an increase in online gambling as factors for the pessimistic outlook for regional gaming revenues.

Fitch estimates that revenues from slot machines in regional markets will drop from 85 percent to 75 percent of total casino revenue by 2030 due to younger peoples’ preference for table games.

The report also states that the country’s regional gaming market has largely met demand, with most states now having some form of casino gambling. But those states could be competing against each other.

“Results could be lackluster, even if more states allow casinos, as is the case in Ohio, which we estimate cannibalized roughly one-third of its revenues from surrounding states,” the report says.

Moody’s Investors Service released a report earlier this month downgrading its outlook on the country’s gaming industry, outside of Nevada, from stable to negative due to recent declines in monthly gaming revenue.

Moody’s estimates that gaming revenue will decrease from 3 to 5 percent over the next year. At the same time, several casinos in Atlantic City have announced plans to shut down.

Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to authorize four casinos in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and Southern Tier. Later on, three casinos will be allowed in New York City.

Last week, Cuomo told reporters in Niskayuna that he is not concerned about Moody’s negative outlook or casinos closing their doors in Atlantic City. The state does not have casinos yet, he said, and it will be up to the operators to meet revenue expectations.

In the Capital Region, where one casino is expected to be built, sites are being pitched in Amsterdam, Cobleskill, East Greenbush, Rensselaer and Schenectady. Developers submitted their proposals to the state Gaming Commission last month.

Categories: Business, Schenectady County

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