In an article in Allentown's the Morning Call, Pennsylvania raked in more than $1.5 billion dollars in taxes last year from its ten casinos. According to the Gaming Control Board and the American Gaming Association, Pennsylvania earned more than New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada combined.
"Pennsylvania leads and it's not even close," said Richard McGarvey, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to the Call. "That's what happens when you have a 55 percent tax rate in a state this big."
The high rate is credited with the big haul. While Pennsylvania gamblers only lost $3 billion at the casinos, compared to say Nevada's $11 billion lost at over 256 casinos, the Commonwealth's high tax rate brings in more overall money.
So where is this money going? According to Melissa Daniels, of the Pennsylvania Independent,
"But in Pennsylvania, not all residents feel this growth equally," said Daniels. "Property tax relief from gambling revenue is determined by school district with a formula from the state Department of Education. This means residents in different parts of the state will receive different amounts of relief."
"This year, relief ranges from $25 to $632 per household, according to data from the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, a group representing other associations statewide. The average savings per household is $186. PCTA spokesman David Baldinger said the idea that casinos were legalized as a form of property tax relief was “sweetener to make it more palatable.”
“It was sold as property tax relief, and from the get-go it was never about property tax relief,” Baldinger said. Overall, 79.5 percent of gaming revenue in Pennsylvania comes from slot machines — there are 26,510 statewide, according to AGA. Gambling taxes come from slots, as well as table games, but the tax structures differ.
Slot machines are the only source supporting property tax relief directly at 34 percent. The remainder of the 55 percent tax revenue is divided among the horse racing industry, economic development projects and local governments near the casinos Tax revenue from table gaming at 16 percent is almost exclusively directed to the general fund.
Click here for Daniels' full story.