FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, January 06, 2020


TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today highlighted the two-notch upgrade of the City of Atlantic City’s bond credit rating by Moody’s Investor Service. The Moody’s rating upgrade follows a similar upgrade by S&P Global Ratings in November 2019. Both Moody’s and S&P are considered among the top three credit rating agencies in the country and rank the creditworthiness of borrowers, including government entities such as municipalities. 

“To start 2020 with another ratings upgrade provides both validation and inspiration for the work that DCA and city officials are doing in Atlantic City,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “This is great news and shows that Atlantic City’s fiscal health is improving, as well as its ability to manage its budget and address longstanding challenges."

Under the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act, the State, specifically DCA, is working to create financial stability for the City of Atlantic City by overseeing the city’s financial operations, annual budgeting, and financial planning and training. The Murphy Administration’s efforts have also focused on building the capacity of city government officials, bolstering the local economy, and enhancing quality-of-life for the city’s residents, understanding that these issues contribute to the city’s overall health and growth. 

The Moody’s report listed the city’s credit strengths as dramatically improved reserves and liquidity, the casino PILOT law that prevents future casino property tax appeals, and continued DCA oversight of the city’s finances and operations. It stated that the city has made real strides in adjusting its staffing levels, increasing operating efficiencies, and improving its liquidity, and in its efforts to diversify the economy beyond the gaming industry.   

The Moody's report also points out that the city must boost economic opportunity for residents, strengthen social services, and protect itself against storms and flooding in order to achieve long-term growth and stability. 

In 2020, DCA will continue executing the Atlantic City Implementation Plan, which identifies strategic recommendations for the city and includes targeted timeframes to complete the recommendations. The Department also plans to invest $20 million in federal disaster recovery funds in the city to help it fortify critical infrastructure such as bulkheads to guard against repetitive flooding. Additionally, DCA will redouble efforts to help the city take advantage of opportunities at the state and federal levels to create affordable and supportive housing and improve the social environment. 

A ratings upgrade can help Atlantic City’s finances because current and future investors are more confident investing in a city that has a credit rating on the upswing and that shows the capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments.

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Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan

(609) 292-6055