For all the restrictions it has placed upon its casinos, there’s one restraint the Massachusetts Gaming Commission wants to ease. It has proposed raising the $600 ‘IRS lockdown’ imposed on slot winners: “a player will not be able to play the machine again until a casino or slots employee takes down the player’s name, address and 5 percent off of the $600 in winnings for a state withholding tax.” The prevailing lockdown point in the U.S. is $1,200. Commissioners are worried that the inconvenience of a lower jackpot lockdown could impel them to play in Rhode Island or other neighboring states.
“And the whole point of the Massachusetts law was to repatriate Massachusetts dollars that are now being spent in other states, and this runs counter to Continued >>
Going against Gov. Jack Markell (D), Delaware lawmakers are wrapping up a relief package for the state’s beleaguered racino industry. The tax rate on table games would be cut from 29% to 15% and the $3 million licensing fee would be eliminated. The state would also increase its percentage of vendor costs to 43.5%, costing taxpayers an additional $3 million annually. Slot machine revenue would get a 5% credit to offset marketing and capex costs. (“They want us to pay the full thing and that’s not fair,” said one detractor.) A controversial add-on would divert 1% of revenue from the state to the horseracing industry. Main proponent state Sen. Brian Bushweller (D) was forthright in his reasoning, saying, “We’re simply taking too much money. The simple solution to a simple problem is let’s take less money from the casino industry.”
Added Dover Downs CEO Denis McGlynn, “If you want this industry to fight the competition, you have to Continued >>
After numerous delays, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) finally was roused from inaction on the proposed Menominee Nation casino for Kenosha. The governor’s response to the tribe was a firm “no,” predicated upon forecasts of revenue losses from the state’s other tribes, particularly the Potowatomi Tribe and Ho-Chunk Nation. Walker passed the blame to his predecessor, stating “Due to the compacts negotiated by Governor [Jim] Doyle, the current cost to taxpayers of approving the proposed casino project is up to $100 million and the long-term economic hit to the state budget would be a potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The Potowatomi were quick to reward Walker for his decision, releasing Continued >>