Firm cuts U.S. online gambling estimate 30 percent

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Morgan Stanley has lowered its estimate of the U.S. Internet gambling market to $3.5 billion by 2017, down from a previous forecast of $5 billion.

The Wall Street firm cited worse-than-expected technical issues, but says it’s optimistic about the new industry’s long-term prospects, with an $8 billion market by 2020.

It also lowered its first full year estimate of New Jersey’s Internet gambling revenue from $541 million to $203 million. Fitch Ratings is sticking with its $200 million forecast for New Jersey this year.

The estimates came a day after New Jersey advanced a new Internet gambling bill to allow the state to enter into pacts with other states or countries to offer online betting.

The current law restricts Internet gambling to players who are physically in New Jersey.

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