OLS most nervous about casino revenue projections

TRENTON – Office of Legislative Services budget officer David Rosen said today he feels “shaky” about the more optimistic revenue projection the Christie Administration is making regarding Casino Revenue funds.

Much of that enhanced revenue projection is based on the grand opening of the Revel Resort and  Casino in Atlantic City, which the governor toured today.

The administration is projecting $287 million for the 2013 fiscal year, a nearly $40 million increase from the fiscal year 2012 estimate of $247.5 million.

The OLS, however, is making a more conservative projection of 8 percent, yielding $267 million in casino revenue projections. The more conservative estimate is based on the fact that casino tax revenues have plummeted 39 percent between the 2006 and 2011 fiscal years, Rosen told the Senate Budget Committee.

Overall, Rosen said both the OLS and the Administration are expecting increased growth. It’s just that the administration expects a bigger comeback.

“Were both hoping for a rebound, but our assumed growth rate is not quite as vigorous as the administration’s,” Rosen said.

He pointed out the casino revenue growth projection as an example. “That’s the one item I’m most worried about,” he said. “That’s the one I feel most shaky about.”

The casino and gaming industry in general has become a lot more competitive, due to new locations opening up in other states and casinos trying to constantly innovate to entice more visitors to Atlantic City.

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OLS most nervous about casino revenue projections