Casino operators in Indiana have hit the jackpot after state Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed a new casino tax law.
The Chicago Tribune reported that many casino operators had previously called on the state government to abolish the add-back tax, which they viewed as unfair as casinos are the only state businesses that are required to pay the add-back tax.
Their pleas were finally heard when Holcomb signed House Bill 1350 into law. The new law effectively phased out the add-back tax over eight years while switching casinos from a $3-per-person admissions tax to a supplemental wagering tax based on a percentage of gross gaming revenues.
Blue Chip Casino and Spa in Michigan City, which claimed to be one of the hardest hit by the admissions tax, believes that the enactment of the new tax law will provide the Indian casino industry with stability from a tax perspective, and it will encourage additional re-investment.
Blue Chip spokesman David Straw said the transition to a supplemental wagering tax “will provide Blue Chip with much-needed stability from a tax perspective. And it should encourage other Indiana casino operators to continue re-investing in their properties. We operate in an extremely competitive regional gaming market, so anything Indiana can do to encourage re-investment will help ensure our future success,” said Strow.
Troy Stremming, a spokesman for Pinnacle Entertainment, parent company of the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, echoed Straw’s sentiments and described House Bill 1350 as a good bill.
Similarly, Horseshoe Hammond Casino hailed the legislation for enhancing the competitiveness of Indiana’s casinos.
But not all are happy about the new legislation.
Democratic Sen. Karen Tallian, who voted against the bill, warned that Michigan City and LaPorte would be hit financially with the switch to a supplemental wagering tax.