So far this year, we have discussed one state that is ahead of the game with regard to legalizing brick and mortar casinos. Georgia recently saw legislation introduced that would finally make it legal for casino games such as slots and table games legal to be played in the state. Though there is still a lot that needs to be done in order for this dream to become a reality, the state and casino proponents are well on their way to making things happen.
As we dig up the legislation that is in process, it appears as though a legalized network of casinos in Georgia would see taxes that are only a fraction of those in states with well-established casino industries. Naturally, this would increase competition in the state and compel casinos to offer more attractive deals to players.
As is the case in most other states, the taxes derived from casinos would inevitably be fed back into the state’s school system. More specifically, the funds would be used to help support needs-based scholarships awarded to children and teens that would otherwise be unable to afford a quality higher level of education.
At this point in time, the bill that is circulating through Georgia’s government would tax casino revenues at just 20%. The national average for casino revenue taxes currently sits at 30%, and some states even have tax rates at 40% and higher. Georgia’s proposed rate being only 20% is something that is already attracting potential casino operators. Even though the bill is far from being passed, casino operators are already getting excited at the money that could be made at the two proposed Georgia casinos.
Though some people might look at the 20% tax rate as a slap in the face to the school system, but the reality is that this lower rate versus the national average will help casinos maintain and upgrade their properties. As this situation plays out over the coming months, it will be interesting to see if any lawmakers take extreme issue with the lower tax rate. This seems inevitable, but in the early running there haven’t been many comments made. We will continue to follow this situation closely as the year plays out. Right now, however, Georgia seems to be on the right track to legalize brick and mortar casinos within the next year, or perhaps even less.