Friday, July 29, 2005
This paper provides an overview of the forms of taxation that are applied to casinos by state and local governments, and analyzes those taxes and fees from a policy perspective. First, the paper contains a comprehensive review of the taxes and fees applied to commercial casinos in the 11 states where casinos are legal. The two most common forms of taxation include a tax on the net amount gambled (AGR, adjusted gross receipts, or gross receipts minus prizes paid) and admission taxes charged on riverboat casinos. A wide range of tax rates are applied to AGR by the states. Second, economic analysis of the efficiency and equity issues related to casino taxes is presented. Included in the analysis is consideration of the revenue offsets involved with other state and local taxes and the uses of the funds. Finally, a summary of our current knowledge of casino taxation and suggestions for needed research are presented.