High casino taxes a big winner for the state

    Casinos are taxed at a higher rate in Pennsylvania than anywhere. And officials think the revenue from these taxes will keep going up.

    Pennsylvania is getting more tax money than any other state — from gamblers.  The state collected nearly $1.1 billion from its nine casinos in 2009.

    Of every dollar casinos get out of slot machines, Pennsylvania rakes in fifty-five cents in taxes.

    That 55% tax rate has helped push the state to the top of the list — above established gambling destinations like Nevada, where the government takes less than eight cents of every dollar.

    “We have a lot of what you call a convenience gambler gambling throughout Pennsylvania – that never had it before. Or if they were gambling, were going to places like Atlantic City or Nevada,” says Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesperson Richard McGarvey “So, you know, from Pennsylvania’s standpoint the tax revenue’s been steady – actually going up quite significantly over the last couple of years.”

    McGarvey says he expects that upward trend to continue as more facilities open.

    Philadelphia’s first casino is set to open in September.

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