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Gov. Rendell: The legislature should reject a different tax rate for “skill games”

Former Governor Ed Rendell is urging lawmakers to reject a “sweetheart deal” for out-of-state skill games companies who are pushing for a 16% tax rate on their machines – compared to the 54% tax that casinos pay on slot machine revenues.

The Governor points out that Pennsylvania’s gaming “juggernaut” generates more gaming tax revenue than any other state. Governor Rendell also notes that:

  • “The secret to maintaining Pennsylvania’s gaming tax juggernaut over the last 20 years has been the General Assembly’s disciplined and consistent approach with respect to setting tax rates.”

  • “All currently authorized forms of slot machine style devices in the Commonwealth are taxed at the same 52% rate, be they slot machines at brick and mortar casinos, virtual slot machines on-line, or video gaming terminals (“VGTs”) in truck stops.”

  • “Our legal gaming industry has already proven that all forms of slot machine style gaming in the commonwealth, including the type most similar to skill games – specifically, VGTs – can operate successfully at the 52% rate.”

  • “It appears to me that the legislators who support the significantly reduced tax rate for skill games … do not understand that the significant difference between a 52% tax rate and one ranging between 16% and 34% will cost Pennsylvanians millions of dollars a year in corporate tax revenue.”

Click here to read the Governor’s column.

Click here to read a report by Casino News.

Please contact Pete Shelly at for more information.

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