Casino Tax Rate Promise Shrinks To 39 Percent
Precisely as GSCAEG has warned for the past two years, promised casino tax rates are about to be cut from 49 to 39 percent. While his new gambling bill remains under wraps, Senator Lou D'Allesandro spilled the beans at a Saturday pitch meeting in Lancaster. This will mean much lower gambling revenue for the state.
Millennium Gaming, the Las Vegas company eyeing a Salem race track casino, played out this same bait-and-switch on taxes in Pennsylvania. Complaining to the legislature about lower-taxed gambling competitors in West Virginia, Millennium asked for a tax rate reduction on table games at their Pittsburgh-area casino. Earlier this month, the legislature caved and legalized table games at a tax rate of 16 percent, dropping to 14 percent in two years.
Casino tax rates in Connecticut are 25 percent. The rate most recently proposed for Massachusetts is 27 percent. The average U.S. casino tax rate is 22 percent.
"You can bet that even the promised 39 percent rate will not hold in New Hampshire," said Jim Rubens, Chair of Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling.
Opening the door to casinos will make New Hampshire dependent on a perpetually declining revenue source. "To balance future budgets, the state will be forced to legalize more casinos and more slot machines in more locations - in or near every community in our state," said Rubens.
You mention Centaur, which is not in Bankruptcy, but has been unable to pay interest due. But you fail to mention the extraordinary up front fee to Indiana of $250 million for 2,000 slots and a tax that averages nearly 50%. A similar problem has been experienced by Twin Rivers in Rhode Island, where the high tax rate has put them in bankruptcy, with no up front fees, in spite of slot revenues exceeding $400 million annually.
You agreed to that up front fee. You agreed to pay the tax based on rosy projections.
Now, you are claiming an inability to compete with Riverboats that existed prior to your agreement?
Granted crime has increased in Atlantic City, but FBI statistics are based on permanent population, and a city with less than 40,000 citizens, entertaining something like 35 million visitors, and 30,000 to 40,000 casino and support employees commuting daily from other South Jersey cities, has a lot more people at risk than the FBI recognizes. So those persons in Atlantic City are much less likely to be involved in criminal activity, than pre casino AC.