Pennsylvania casinos: thanks but no thanks

July 27, 2016 9:58 AM


Do they think we’re stupid or something?

That may have been one of the questions lodged in the minds of Pennsylvania casino officials after state lawmakers recently gave them the right to extend liquor service through the early morning hours from 2 to 6 a.m.

The trouble with that was the cash-strapped state with the big budget deficit wants $1 million from each of the casinos seeking a revised liquor license.

Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos are already paying some of the highest gaming taxes in the land. 

The recent two percent tax hike on table game revenues will boost the rate to 16 percent. The state’s casinos currently pay a whopping 54 percent tax hike on slots making the state’s casinos the highest taxed in the country.

Sands Casino CEO Mark Juliano told the Morning Call of Allentown that the Bethlehem casino won’t pay the $1 million, and he doesn’t know of any casino that will.

Juliano says that considering the tax rate it’s also not worth hiring the staff to serve the sparse late-night or early morning crowds and Sands doesn’t want to be the go-to drinking hole after every other place closes.