Pennsylvania casinos won a legal battle

The State's Supreme Court gave green light to the casinos' claims.

This decision would not mean higher incomes for the industry in the near future, though.

US.- Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the casino law yesterday. The regulation has forced casinos to pay host communities 4 percent of slot machine revenue as a “local share assessment.”

With this resolution, casinos would not be forced to pay the tax, which was divided between Pennsylvania’s counties and municipalities. Two percent of the slot revenue used to go to the counties and 2 percent or US$10 million, whichever is greater, used to go to the municipalities.

According to the Supreme Court, the tax payment was unconstitutional because it was not uniform and affected the Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos differently. Nevertheless, yesterday’s declaration was not the end of the battle, as recognising the potential negative impact on counties and communities that have come to depend on the casino assessments, the court delayed the effect of its ruling for four months to give lawmakers an opportunity to change the law so it passes constitutional muster.