Washington - State and local officials increasingly are throwing the dice in an effort to bolster their finances, and at least some bond rating analysts believe the gambling development is a healthy one.

"As state and local governments battle budget constraints and the effects of the national recession, new gaming ventures could offset the impact of weakened tax collections," wrote Robert F. Durante, a Standard & Poor's Corp. associate director, and Peter J. D'Erchia, a director for the rating agency, in yesterday's tssue of Credit Week Municipal.

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