ENTERTAINMENT

Report: R.I. table gaming likely to impact Conn. casinos in 2013

PBN FILE PHOTO/STEPHANIE ALVAREZ EWENS
RHODE ISLAND'S GAMING INDUSTRY is expected to impact the Connecticut Native American casinos in the upcoming year thanks to the approval of table gaming at Twin River.
Posted 12/18/12

NEW YORK - With table gaming recently approved for Twin River, the Rhode Island gambling scene is likely to impact existing casinos in the area in 2013, including Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, according to a new Fitch Ratings report.

The report, “2013 Outlook: U.S. Gaming (Return Generation in Full Swing),” was released Tuesday and analyzed the outlook of the casino and gaming industry in the United States for 2013.

According to the report, U.S. gaming ratings will be mostly stable in 2013 as casino operators focus on growth and generating shareholder returns.

“Casino balance sheets will remain highly leveraged next year as healthy casino operators continue to take advantage of low interest rates to facilitate leveraged share buybacks or dividends and potentially debt-funded M&A activity,” Michael Paladino said in a statement.

In 2013, Fitch expects Rhode Island’s Twin River casino to bring pressure on the Connecticut Native American casinos with the addition of table games. Beyond 2013, the report said it expected a “new supply” of pressure to come from the proposed Massachusetts casinos.

For the state as a whole, Rhode Island’s gaming revenues rose 3.8 percent year-over-year, based on data through October 2012.

For the first 10 months of 2012, Rhode Island brought in $447 million of gaming revenue, a 3.8 percent increase from the $430.7 million reported during the same period in 2011.

According to the report, 2012 is on track to be the third consecutive year of year-over-year revenue increase in the Ocean State.

Comparatively, Connecticut saw its gaming revenue drop 8.1 percent year-over-year to $1.04 billion during the first 10 months of 2012.

To view the full report, visit www.fitchratings.com.

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