Sands Casino in Bethlehem is the only casino that won’t pay host fees anymore.
US.- Despite the Supreme Court ruling that the casino host fee was unconstitutional, some casinos across the state said that they will still pay their host communities in order to fund the police, firefighters and shelters.
Back in September, the Supreme Court said that casinos in Pennsylvania should not be forced to pay the US$10 million host fee and the 2 percent tax on slot machines revenues anymore, based on the fact that the tax was a problem for smaller facilities like Mount Airy Casino Resort. The justice has time until January 26 to solve the problem, but some casinos have already established that they’ll continue paying taxes even if the Legislature fails the host communities necessities.
Rivers casino in Pittsburgh, Harrah’s in Chester, Hollywood in Dauphin County and Parx Casino in Bensalem are the four facilities that struck deals with their host communities. Craig Clark, Rivers General Manager, said: “To reinforce Rivers Casino’s strong commitment to our hometown, we have worked collaboratively with city officials to ensure that $10 million in annual local share payments from Rivers Casino to Pittsburgh will continue uninterrupted through 2017.”
Whilst other venues are expected to follow in the next few weeks, Sands officials said that they’re gonna follow the legislators instructions. “We’re not going to speculate on any future outcome by the Legislature. As it unfolds, we’ll follow and act accordingly,” said Ron Reese, spokesman for Las Vegas Sands Corp. Legislators will be back in session during the second week of January, and they have at least three months before the next scheduled payment in April 15. Eric Schippers, senior VP with Hollywood Casino owner Penn National Gaming, said: “If they don’t get a fix by June, we’ll extend through December and keep extending it until the matter is settled. They’re counting on that revenue for critical needs and we don’t want them worrying about whether it’s going to be there. It’s going to be there. That’s our commitment.”