Fitch: Some States Win, Others Lose as Changing Casino Market Reshuffles U.S. Gaming Tax Revenue

NEW YORK--()--Growth in gross commercial gaming revenue across the U.S. slowed to 1.2% last year from 4.8% in 2012 as the industry grapples with saturated regional markets, a still-sluggish U.S. economy and newly expanded gaming operations in several states, says Fitch Ratings. While many states benefit from favorable tax rates on the industry's $38 billion of annual revenue, shifting dynamics have positioned some states with more to lose than others.

Established markets like those in Delaware, New Jersey, Missouri and West Virginia lost ground to new entrants like Kansas, Maryland, New York and Ohio. While new entrants have pushed growth in gaming tax revenue up by 9.8% across all states, many states saw trend reversals on this front in fiscal 2013 due to inter-state competition.

'Taxes on gaming are not the jackpot they once were for many states,' says Marcy Block, Senior Director in Fitch's U.S. Public Finance group. 'Outside of Las Vegas, gaming supply has largely met demand so we don't expect overall revenues to increase dramatically; however, in the game for tax revenue, states with newly legalized or expanded operations are likely to grab a piece of the pie from those more established states.'

A notable example is Massachusetts, which Fitch expects to weaken the established gaming markets in Connecticut and Rhode Island when its casinos come online in the coming years--a trend that is increasingly prevalent throughout the northeast region. Pending casino development in New York would have a similar effect for surrounding states as Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania vie for gamblers in the tri-state area and near Atlantic City.

The benefit of gaming for any state will depend on both the volume of gambling activity its casinos draw, as well as its tax rate for gaming revenues. At more than 11%, Nevada continues to lead other states in gaming revenue as a percentage of its total government revenue due to its $9.7 billion gaming industry. However, with gambling accounting for less than 1% of total government revenues in more than half of states with legalized gaming, Nevada remains an outlier.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: State Gaming Growth Slows (But Favorable Terms Allow Share of Winnings to Climb)

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Marcy Block
Senior Director - Public Finance
+1-212-908-0239
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Alex Bumazhny, CFA
Director - Gaming, Lodging & Leisure
+1-212-908-9179
or
Media Relations
Elizabeth Fogerty, +1 212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Marcy Block
Senior Director - Public Finance
+1-212-908-0239
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Alex Bumazhny, CFA
Director - Gaming, Lodging & Leisure
+1-212-908-9179
or
Media Relations
Elizabeth Fogerty, +1 212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com