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Regulating Online Gaming - A Central Component in Putting Atlantic City "Back on Track”

Executive Summary

The Economist recently noted that "innovative thinking is needed in the City by the Sea" if Atlantic City
wishes to become once again the gaming capital of the Northeast.
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This innovative thinking will need to
comprise of several components, sports betting being one of them. However, the key component which
can make Atlantic City the World capital of gaming is the introduction of a regulatory licensing regime for
online gaming which will take Atlantic City into the 21
st
Century.

The current situation is clear:

• Atlantic City’s gaming revenues fell 8 percent year-on-year in 2012 to $3.05bn.

• The market continues its downward spiral as competition from neighboring states expands. New
Jersey is no longer the second largest gaming market in the U.S. (after Nevada) following the growth
of Pennsylvania's 11 casinos
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.

• Governor Sandoval of Nevada (where online poker licenses can already be obtained), is working to
make Nevada the hub of online gaming in the U.S. through his initiative for interstate compacts
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.

The solution is also clear – a regulatory regime for online gaming which will not only increase the State's
revenue from taxes and bring thousands of high tech jobs, but also enable Atlantic City and its casinos to
attract new visitors and compete with Nevada on equal terms. According to a January 2013 Wells Fargo's
analysis:

• The online gaming industry in New Jersey could grow to $1.5 billion over the next five years,
providing up to $150 million in annual tax revenue to the state.

• This will have a significant positive economic impact on the land-based casinos themselves. They state
that “….BORGAT and CZR could capture up to a 50% market share on a combined basis….. gross online
gaming revenue could range between $162.5 million and $212.5 million for each of the two
companies”.

In addition, according to a 2010 fiscal study submitted to the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming
Association, the additional direct and indirect jobs which an online gaming regime would bring to the state
could exceed 3,700.

There is strong evidence from the European experience of “Poker tourism”, that cooperation between
online operations and “bricks and mortar” casinos is likely to attract new audiences to Atlantic City
hotels. Residents of states which do not currently regulate online gaming will come to Atlantic City for the
joint experience of tourism as well as offline and online gaming.


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http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21570757-innovative-thinking-needed-city-sea-changing-game.
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http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/total_gaming_revenue_up_44_per.html
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http://www.lvrj.com/news/sandoval-calls-for-135-million-in-new-spending-in-state-of-the-state-address-187222811.html



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Moreover, there is no evidence whatsoever that the introduction of online gaming negatively affects the
casino industry. In fact, the experience in Europe shows the opposite: in the UK, where online gaming is
not tied to the land-based industry and has become a multi-billion dollar industry, the “bricks and mortar”
industry has still shown strong year on year growth. This is also the case in Belgium, where online gaming is
tied to the land-based industry, and since the regulation of online gaming in the country there has been a
77% increase in turnover of the total gaming market.





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How Regulating the Online Gaming Market in New Jersey will benefit both the State and Atlantic City

General

Establishing a regulatory regime for online gaming in New Jersey will result in an open and competitive
licensed market which would be attractive to both local casino licensees and worldwide operators,
minimize unlicensed activities, generate significant tax revenue for the State and bring New Jersey
thousands of high tech jobs.

Under AB 2578, online gaming would only be offered in New Jersey by Atlantic City casinos. For this reason
the new licensing regime will attract new investors to Atlantic City and will allow the current casinos to
renovate the old facilities which desperately need investment in order to appeal to new audiences;
international online gaming operators will come to Atlantic City and will create high tech jobs and improve
the city IT infrastructure to support their activities; residents of states which do not currently regulate
online gaming will come to Atlantic City for the joint experience of tourism, offline gaming and online
gaming; cooperation between the online operations and the “bricks and mortar” casinos would attract new
audiences to Atlantic City hotels - strong online poker brands will be able to run offline poker tournaments
and attract thousands of people to spend a weekend in Atlantic City; international online gaming operators
will be able to bring to the city people from abroad leveraging their international database; and in addition
to the 10% gaming duty at least 2.5% of online gaming revenue will be invested back in Atlantic City
through the Atlantic City Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

The Problematic Financial State of Atlantic City

Looking into figures published by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement earlier this month,
Atlantic City gaming revenues fell 8% year-on-year in 2012 to $3.05bn despite an 8 month contribution
from the state’s twelfth casino, Revel, and the market has continued its downward spiral as casinos bore
the continued impact of expanded competition from neighboring states, including Pennsylvania and
Maryland.

Meanwhile, Governor Sandoval of Nevada, which is already granting online poker licenses, is working to
make Nevada the hub of online gaming in the U.S. through its initiative for interstate compacts.

The Positive Economic Impact of the Online Industry

AB 2578 which was recently passed by the New Jersey legislature could change this negative trend.

Various financial research and analysis made in the course of the last 3 years were consistent with their
estimations regarding the positive impact of regulated online gaming regime, both for the existing and
future gaming industry in Atlantic City and for the State itself.

A financial study from 2010 estimated that regulating online gaming in New Jersey will bring to the state up
to 3,700 new jobs. According to this study, approximately 1,300 new jobs will be directly created due to the
new licensing regime which will also indirectly generate more than 1,400 additional jobs.
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According to a financial analysis published by Wells Fargo this month (January 2013), the positive impact of
the new proposed online gaming licensing regime would include the following:


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Econsult Corporation, Potential Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Proposed New Jersey Intrastate i‐Gaming Bill,
Report Submitted to the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (June 2010).



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"Companies should be able to cross market their online offerings with their gaming and
non-gaming amenities, providing a significant advantage over Delaware, Pennsylvania
and New York gaming facilities.

Potential Market Size - According to our estimates, we believe the online gaming
industry in New Jersey could grow to $1.5 billion over the next five years, providing up
to $150 million in annual tax revenue to the state. In the near term, we believe the
New Jersey online market could generate between $650 million and $850 million. Our
near-term analysis assumes 5.8 million adult players and a per-capita annual online
spend of $111-$149 million.

Who stands to benefit? We believe all New Jersey license holders will benefit, but
properties with strong brands and gaming facilities will likely see the most upside... In
our investment universe, we believe Borgata (owned by BYD/MGM) and Caesars
Entertainment Corp have the most to gain if this online legislation would come to
fruition. We believe BORGAT and CZR could capture up to a 50% market share on a
combined basis. Under these assumptions, we believe gross online gaming revenue
could range between $162.5 million and $212.5 million for each of the two companies.
We believe EBITDA margin could run around 50%. Therefore, we estimate potential
EBITDA generation of $81.3 million to $106.3 million for both CZR and BORGAT. LTM
EBITDA at BORGAT was $140.8 million and $1.8 billion at CZR HoldCo".
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Another recent financial analysis by Union Gaming estimated that a New Jersey online casino and poker
market could generate revenues of $534 million in its first full year of operation and grow at a compound
annual growth rate of 9.3 percent to reach $844 million after a five year ramp-up.
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A similar estimation,
which was published by H2 Gambling Capital in May 2012, predicted revenue of $142.5 million from online
poker alone in the first year of licensed operations, which will reach $908.8 million after five years.
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The abovementioned financial analysis is based on the current U.S. regulatory environment with respect to
online gaming. However, the U.S. regulatory map will be very different in a year from now. By then Nevada
(and presumably other states) will start to attract all the major online gaming operators and be entering
into compacts with other states, leaving Atlantic City behind for good.

Online Gaming will Positively Affect the Offline Industry

Moreover, there is no evidence whatsoever that the introduction of an online gaming regime would
negatively affect the offline casino industry. The financial data shows quite the opposite.

In the United Kingdom, where online gaming is not tied to the land-based industry and has become a
multi-billion dollar industry, the “bricks and mortar” industry has still shown strong year on year growth
and the gross gaming yield of the offline casino industry has risen from £597.7m in 2001 to £803.4m in
2011.
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The Belgium online gaming regime, which is based on a partnership between online service providers and
terrestrial local operators, provides another good example (especially since the population of Belgium is not
much higher than New Jersey’s – approximately 10.8 million). According to the H2 Gambling Capital
analysis, in 2011 (when regulated online gaming was launched in Belgium) a 77% increase in turnover of

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Available at: http://www.gambling911.com/gambling-news/wells-fargo-analysts-online-gaming-bill-could-save-atlantic-
city-012413.html (reviewed on January 25, 2013).
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http://www.gamblingdata.com/node/50759.
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H2 Gambling Capital, US Regulated Internet Gaming Model Years 1-5 (May 22, 2012).
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H2 Gambling Capita, UK Gambling Turnover (April 4, 2012).

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the total gaming market was seen (from €835.8m to €1,481.7m). In 2012 when interactive sports betting
was added, the market saw another increase of 60% in the total betting market (from €391.9m to
€642.1m). Two years after introducing a regulatory regime for online gaming in Belgium, a 44% increase is
predicted in gross gaming revenue from the total betting market and a 25% increase in gross gaming
revenue from the total gaming market.

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It is worth mentioning that these numbers should be seen against
the backdrop of a significant economic crisis in Europe and a smoking ban, both of which have a significant
effect on casinos.






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H2 Gambling Capita, Belgium Gross Gambling Turnover (January 1, 2013).