American Gaming Association opposes Penn. tax plan

Feb 24, 2016 10:56 AM

A tax proposal by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to bridge the state budget gap would cause tax revenues received from the state’s 12 casinos to decrease, according to the American Gaming Association.

Earlier this month, the Governor proposed a new tax on promotional credit marketing programs, an important tool for casinos that incentivize customers to increase their real-money wagering.

The promotional credit marketing programs in casinos are no different than grocery store coupons, which are widely used to attract more customers to purchase and consume more goods.

“While we appreciate the difficult budget deficit facing Pennsylvania, taxing promotional credits would likely lead to a decrease in tax revenue from casinos – the exact opposite of the intended result,” wrote Sara Rayme, AGA’s senior vice president of public affairs. “Taxing Pennsylvania casinos’ promotional credit programs will be an economic deterrent to casinos offering such incentives, and consequently, result in a decrease in patron play and lower tax revenues generated for state and local governments.”

If adopted, Pennsylvania’s policy shift on promotional tax credits would be unprecedented, Rayme wrote.

Every state that touches Pennsylvania – Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York – competes with the state for gaming dollars. AGA noted that imposing such a tax would only boost revenues from casinos for neighboring states.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].