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Pennsylvania Raises Table Game TaxPublished August 4, 2016 by Elana K
This week marks the first week that Pennsylvania casinos will be paying a 2% higher tax on all table game revenue. The tax increase was approved by the state legislature and brings the current tax rate to 16%.
This week marks the first week that Pennsylvania casinos will be paying a 2% higher tax on all table game revenue. The tax increase was approved by the state legislature, and brings the current tax rate to 16% (as opposed to a previous 14%). The small, but significant, increase is expected to generate an additional $17 million annually. The tax is set to expire in January 2019, at which point the legislature will have the option to reauthorize, cancel, or change it.
Pennsylvania Pays High Price for Gambling
Pennsylvania is no stranger to high casino taxes; in fact, its slot machines currently pay a 54% tax rate, making the Keystone State’s casinos the highest taxed in the country.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the increase in the table game tax rate is being warmly welcomed. Sands CEO Mark Juliano commented, “We’re not happy about it, but it doesn’t stop us in our tracks. [Pennsylvania] is already the highest tax environment for casinos, but we’ll deal with it.”
What Does This Mean for Online Gambling?
Online gambling was the center of an omnibus gaming reform bill that did not make it through the previous legislative session; online gambling supporters are hopeful that the issue will be tackled again come Fall, and that the bill will be passed. The table game tax was not included as part of the omnibus package, which may be a sign that there will be some amendments to the bill. However, the actual tax is not expected to affect lawmakers’ decisions this Fall.
Supporters have predicted that legalizing online gambling in Pennsylvania could bring the state as much as $100 million in revenue - funds that are very much needed at the moment. The additional $17 million from the table tax increase is not meant to replace those funds - indeed, it doesn’t come close - but rather, to enhance them.