Maryland Casino Operators Could Pay 70 Percent in Taxes

The price of running a casino with slot machines in Maryland could become very pricey, as the Governor of the state, Martin O’Malley, has released his plan for allowing the legalization of slots in Maryland.

The Governors plan would call for 70 percent of the gross gaming revenue to the government, and they would in turn distribute the money among education, the horse racing industry, and money would go to refurbishing tracks and to breeders.

Of the 30 percent that the casino operators would keep, they would still have to take out expenses for operating and building the slot facility, and also for paying their employees, and that would not leave much profit for whoever gets awarded casino licenses.

“The tax rate can work if there is a limit on the number of machines permitted”, says William R. Eadington, the director of the Institute for the Study of Gaming and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The idea would be that with less machines, the ones that are available would be in play more, thus driving up revenue.

Opponents of the Governors plan suggest that the plan is being used as a way that only certain people can actually go after the gaming licenses, mainly the states racetracks.

Wisconsin Gambling On Casino Debt To Balance Their Budget

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The state of Wisconsin is taking a gamble that, if they are wrong, could leave them searching for $72 million to fill budget gaps.

The $72 million is money that the state believes is owed to them by the Ho-Chung Nation, an Indian tribe that runs several casinos in Wisconsin.

The Tribe, however, says that this is money that they do not owe as it was part of a compact that was signed back in 2004, but after a Superior Court ruling said that the Governor overstepped his authority by signing the compact, the tribe held off paying the $72 million until a new deal could be worked out with the state.

The state sued the tribe in 2005 and the case is now ready to go to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Both sides expect that a decision will come down in the next three to four months, and the state believes that ruling will be that the Tribe must make the payment.

If the ruling comes down in favor of the Tribe, it will be a major problem for the state, as they will then have to come up with that $72 million to balance the budget, a task that seems to be almost impossible.

The money owed was included in the current budget as expected revenue, since the Doyle Administration believe the money will be paid.

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