Gaming Benefits for Pennsylvanians
The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act was designed to produce tremendous benefits for Commonwealth citizens through the legalization of casino gaming. To date, more than 16,000 new living wage jobs have been created along with more than $6 billion of tax revenue that is improving the quality of life in local communities, reinvigorating our horse racing industry, and lowering the property tax of homeowners.
For every dollar produced as revenue from slot machine play, 55¢ is returned to Pennsylvanians. Below is a breakdown of this taxation:
The significant portion of revenue generated from the play of slot machines are used to fund general school property tax reduction or wage tax reduction. Each April 15, the Secretary of the Budget certifies the amount of revenue available for distribution as general school property tax reduction and Philadelphia wage tax reduction during the upcoming fiscal year. School tax bills reflect the homestead and farmstead exclusions funded by slots as a separate line item. While the amount of reduction varies between school district, homeowners statewide have received an average reduction of nearly $200 yearly.
In addition, slots revenue has been used to expand and supplement the Property Tax and Rent Rebate (PTRR) program for senior citizens, widows/widowers 50 and over, and people with disabilities. The program expansion increased the income limit from $15,000 to $35,000 (which excludes half of Social Security income) for homeowners and raised the maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. Each July, the Department of Revenue begins issuing rebate checks for taxes/rent paid in the preceding calendar year. The result of combining general property tax reduction with rebate money allowed approximately 100,000 Pennsylvania seniors to see an elimination of any school property tax in 2011.
The revenue split for table games is different. For each dollar generated, the casino retains 86¢… a larger percentage than slot machines primarily due to the much higher overhead costs associated with operating table games compared to operating slots. State and local governments receive all of the tax revenue from table games.
For more information on property tax reduction programs and horse racing, click the Related Links button on this website. For a weekly update on the amount of revenue generated and taxes collected through gaming, go to the revenue link on this site.