Christie Uses Gambling to Boost NJ Credit Rating

Image: Christie Uses Gambling to Boost NJ Credit Rating

Monday, 02 Dec 2013 04:40 PM

By Lisa Barron

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is gambling on virtual gaming to help boost the state's credit standing.

Thirteen gambling sites run by six casinos have now gone live under a bill signed into law in February, leading ratings agency Moody's to issue a report saying that virtual gambling "provides a much-needed boost for a market that has suffered protracted declines," The Washington Post reports.

Live gambling in Atlantic City reportedly generates about $2.8 billion annually. Moody's estimated that it would generate another $250 million to $500 million in its first year, although that is below the $1.2 billion Christie predicted, the newspaper said.

The Garden State joined Nevada and Delaware in offering online betting, but it is the largest legal market by far, the Courier Post reports.

Still, ratings agency Fitch said in its report that "online gambling is not going to be the savior of the [Atlantic City] casino market."

Meanwhile, Christie is fighting a legal battle to allow sports betting at New Jersey's casinos and horse racing tracks, and has vowed to take it to the Supreme Court, the Star Ledger reports.

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