Casino Tax Break a Bad Bet for New Jersey

Despite booming profits and expanding sports-betting revenues, lawmakers gave casinos an early Christmas present worth at least $145 million.

Published on Dec 20, 2021 in Economic Justice, Tax and Budget

The New Jersey Senate today passed legislation that would provide Atlantic City casinos tens of millions of dollars in annual tax breaks despite having a banner bounce-back year in 2021. The bill, S4007/A5587, would reduce casinos’ payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) each year until 2026. In response to the passage of this bill, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) releases the following statement.

Peter Chen, Senior Policy Analyst, NJPP:

“Despite booming profits and rapidly expanding sports-betting revenues, state lawmakers gave casinos an early Christmas present of at least $145 million in tax breaks. The casinos’ own profit and revenue data shows nearly $600 million in profit in the first three quarters of 2021 alone. Once again, the house wins.

“Casinos already get special tax treatment through the 2016 payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) law. This legislation accounted for fluctuating revenues by basing the PILOT amount on how much money the casinos brought in every year. Now, casinos are coming back for more, reducing their annual payments, as well as excluding from future calculations the fastest-growing part of their business: online sports betting worth more than $1 billion in 2021 so far.

“This losing bet for New Jersey deprives the state and its residents of much-needed public investments in schools, roads, services, and other building blocks of a strong economy.”

Read NJPP’s testimony in opposition to the bill here.

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