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Casino Operator: Massachusetts' Gambling Tax Rules Make Things 'Functionally Impossible'

Firms Eyeing Casino In State Want Tax On Winnings Changed


According to reporting from the Associated Press, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts want the state of Massachussets to repeal a rule that, as interpreted, requires casinos to report and withhold five percent for state income tax on certain winnings greater than $600.

The firms, among the largest of their kind in the world, are basically arguing for a change that is in favor of the gambling customer as well.

If the state doesn’t do so, the casino firms warned, it could hurt business. It apparently would create a lot of annoying hurdles for patrons and the house.

Other states reportedly go with much more favorable taxes that apply to gamblers themselves.

“It’s functionally impossible to interrupt play after each hand to administer reporting or withholding,” Wynn Resorts said in a letter to state gambling regulators.

“It’s a major competitive problem. It’s a major administrative problem,” Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby reportedly said. “It seems pretty clear that the best practice would be to adopt the federal standard.”

Talks are ongoing between the state’s revenue department, the Commission and the firms.

According to the report: “In general, federal tax law requires gamblers fill out tax forms and remit roughly 25 percent of slot machine winnings of $1,200 or more, poker tournament winnings of $5,000 or more and winnings of $600 or more where the payout is at least 300 times the amount of the wager.” This is what many other casino states use.

Massachusetts doesn’t have that 300-1 stipulation.

Three new casinos are in the pipeline for the state.

Tags: Massachusetts,   MGM,   Wynn