Maryland Bill Would Stop Taxing Casinos on Losses

Lawmakers in Maryland are considering a bill that would make it easier for state casinos to handle their losses. The law would stop taxing casinos for not immediately recovering from losses, but could reduce the revenue casinos pay to state and local governments by around $200,000 per year.

Maryland's current casino tax law requires casino operators to pay taxes on up to 20 percent of the lost revenue when they lose money. When a state casino has a losing day, they have just two days to recoup the losses. If the losses are not recouped in the allotted amount of time, they still have to pay taxes on the lost revenue.

A new bill proposed by Del. Anne Kaiser, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, would extend the number of days casinos have to recoup their losses from two to seven. State casinos say the extra time will give them an opportunity to bring in high rollers, resulting in increased state revenues.

Opponents say the bill would have the state footing the bill for casino losses. According to Delegate David Moon, the money would come out of the state's Education Trust Fund. His accusation is confusing since money already in the fund would go to casinos, but analysis shows the change would result in less money going into the fund annually.

Legislative Services crunched the numbers and they estimate the change from two days before losses are taxed to seven days will result in $1 million less paid to the state Education Trust Fund in 2019.

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