Ohio Casinos Given Attractive Perks by Governor Kasich

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Well, now, isn’t this interesting.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is wising up. Leveling the playing field as it were.

Ohio’s incoming casinos won’t pay taxes on free betting chips handed to valued customers, under a bill recently enacted.

Giving Ohio casinos such a perk will put them on equal footing with rival gambling halls in Pennsylvania that aren’t taxed for promotional or “comped” betting.

In the last fiscal year, Pennsylvania casinos “comped” or gave away nearly $510 million worth of bets not subject to tax – almost 2 percent of total betting.

In theory, Pennsylvania gave away up to $25 million in taxes last year by not levying such complimentory betting, but industry experts say casinos wouldn’t have been as generous with free bets had the taxes applied.

House Bill 277 legally establishes several provisions of a compromise that ended a tax fight between Kasich and casino developers.

The compromise included concessions from casino operators to pay the state an additional $220 million over the next decade.

That is certainly something Kasich needed in a state with such a large deficit.

The casinos won favorable regulatory decisions including forgiveness of taxation on free bets awarded.

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