S&P Global Ratings upgraded Atlantic City’s credit rating. Consider it one positive in the roller coaster ride that the New Jersey gambling hub has been on.
The city’s credit rating was in the basement. This upgrade — from CC to CCC — indicates Atlantic City has inched closer to the steps that lead to the first floor.
“These are early signs our efforts are working, that we will successfully revitalize Atlantic City and restore the luster of this jewel on the Jersey Shore,” said Brian Murray, a spokesperson from Gov. Chris Christie’s office.
Recent events, an S&P rep told NJ.com, led to the credit upgrade.
Takeover, settlement bolster city’s rating
According to S&P analyst Timothy Little, two factors contributed to the upgrade.
- The state’s takeover of Atlantic City
- The city’s $72 million settlement with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
The AC takeover
Four months ago, the state moved in and took over the city’s finances. That came after Mayor Don Guardian and his council could not provide the state a feasible budget for reducing the city’s immediate and long-term debts.
It was a move that Christie had wanted to implement since he gave Guardian a budget deadline early in 2016.
The Borgata settlement
Perhaps the flagship of Atlantic City’s fleet of financial problems was its inability to pay Borgata $165 million in overpaid property taxes.
Considering the city was $500 million in debt, experts agreed a full payment of the Borgata debt was impossible.
Upgrade may be a temporary win
While news of the S&P upgrade was a much-needed boost to the city’s financial reputation, there are those in the industry who are skeptical that the upgraded rating will last.
Over the course of this year, the city is responsible for making monthly payments toward its debt. While the upcoming payments are reasonable — between $1 and $2 million — a $6.1 million installment looms in November.
An S&P analyst was quoted as saying, essentially, that the upgraded rating is a coat of fresh paint on a home with serious structural issues.
What’s interesting about S&P’s tenuous view of Atlantic City’s future is that it dampens the state’s fiscal accomplishments. Yes, the Borgata deal helped its finances. But the state has far bigger issues to deal with before financial experts give the city a passing bill of health.
There have been other good signs for AC of late, including
At the time of this writing there are five online poker sites that are regulated and legal in the state of New Jersey.
Three of the sites offer no deposit bonuses for players who want to try out their software, and the other two offer great welcome packages to get you started.
What are the different no deposit bonuses available at NJ poker sites?
The biggest no deposit bonus offered by a New Jersey online poker site is from Party Poker (NJ.PartyPoker.com).
When you sign up as a new player, the site will give you a free $25; but like all no deposit bonuses, the money comes with some strings attached.
The free $25 Party Poker offers is actually broken up into three separate chunks:
- $10 in poker money
- $10 in casino chips
- $5 in poker tournament tickets
Fortunately, the playthrough requirements for this promotion are very lax.
To cash out the $10 in poker money, all you must do is play a single hand at a real money table. To cash out the casino chips, you must play through the funds only once.
BorgataPoker.com will give you a free $20 in bonus cash to try out its software. After you successfully sign up for an account, you will receive $10 in cash and $10 in poker bonus.
As you begin to play real money poker on its site and contribute to rake and/or tournament fees, you will earn iRewards Points (iRP). To withdraw the $10 in cash, you must first earn one iRP. Once you have earned 40 iRPs, your $10 poker bonus will be credited to your account.
888 Poker NJ
The last no deposit bonus available is at 888Poker.com. 888 offers new players a total of $10 in free money that is broken down into $4 in cash and six $1 tournament tickets.
The $4 in cash is not considered a pending bonus and can be withdrawn immediately upon successful creation of an account.
Welcome packages available from real money online casinos in NJ
PokerStars New Jersey
Unfortunately, our two favorite places to play online poker in New Jersey do not currently offer no deposit bonuses to new players. But they do have great welcome packages and the largest player pools of any New Jersey online poker sites.
PokerStarsNJ.com will give you a free $30 to play on its site and a ticket to the $5,000 Depositor Freeroll played on the last Sunday of every month. All you have to do to claim your $30 in free play is deposit $20 in your PokerStarsNJ.com account and enter bonus code FREE30.
The first $15 of your bonus will be credited to your account within 36 hours of your deposit, along with the $5000 Depositor Freeroll ticket. The final $15 of your free money will be credited to your account seven days after your first deposit.
You can also take advantage of PokerStarsNJ.com’s $600 first deposit bonus. When you enter bonus code STARS600 and deposit on its site, you will receive a 100 percent bonus up to $600.
The first deposit bonus will be released in $10 increments every time you earn 100 VPPs (PokerStarsNJ.com’s frequent player points).
WSOP.com will match your first deposit 100 percent up to $400, and if you make a deposit of as little as $10, you will receive seven $100 freeroll tickets exclusive to new players.
These $100 freerolls take place nightly at 7 p.m. and are a great way for new players to build a bankroll.
The $400 match bonus is released in much the same way as PokerStarsNJ.com’s first deposit bonus. The first $10 in bonus money is released in $1 increments; the next $40 is released in $5 increments; and the remaining $350 is released $10 at a time.