The leaders of the Congressional Gaming Caucus will continue in their roles for the next two years.
US Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (left) and Dina Titus (right) will once again serve as the co-chairs for the Congressional Gaming Caucus in the US House, the lawmakers announced Monday. (Images: Rep. Reschenthaler and Rep. Titus/Twitter)
On Monday, US Reps Dina Titus, D-Nev., and Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., announced they would again serve as co-chairs of the bipartisan group that seeks to inform their colleagues in the House about important gaming issues.
Gaming is now widespread across the country thanks to the expansion of legal sports betting. Some form of gaming is now legal in 44 states, and sports betting is now available in 33 states plus the District of Columbia. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA) home to 146 million adults – more than half the adult population in the US.
In addition, 163 of the country’s 435 congressional districts, or 37.5%, have at least one casino.
Leaders Vow to Work Together
Titus’ district includes nearly all of the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas’s gaming industry has set the national gold standard, which has been followed across the country as gaming has expanded,” she said. “As co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, I look forward to working with Rep. Reschenthaler and our colleagues in a bipartisan way to help well-regulated gaming markets flourish and incentivize economic development in District One and across the country.”
Reschenthaler, whose district covers parts of Southwestern Pennsylvania, noted the gaming industry is coming off a strong year fueled by record-breaking revenue totals.
“I am proud to lead the Congressional Gaming Caucus alongside Rep. Titus to strengthen policies on Capitol Hill to create good-paying jobs, drive economic development, and increase investments in districts across our nation,” he said.
Taxes, Illegal Gambling Key Priorities
Titus and Reschenthaler’s joint release noted three gaming issues the caucus prioritized for the two-year session.
The caucus wants to eliminate what the co-chairs called “discriminatory” taxes, which would include the .25% federal excise tax on legal sports bets that has been around since the 1950s. The tax, along with a $50 per employee fee licensed sportsbooks must pay, is seen as a barrier for legal operators that are trying to win customers from illegal or unlicensed operators.
Another key item for the caucus will be raising the slot tax threshold. It’s been 46 years since the threshold was last raised, and caucus members have previously pushed for the current $1,200 limit to be increased to $5,000.
Caucus members and the AGA have said that the low threshold has led to a sharp uptick in reportable jackpots. That increase has led to more work for casinos, which must shut down the winning slot machine each time as a casino employee prepares a tax form for the winning bettor.
And the caucus also wants to see the federal government do more to end illegal gaming operations that cost states billions in tax revenues.
“The AGA and our members look forward to working with the caucus and new Congress to ensure sensible tax policy and combat predatory, illegal gambling,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement. “These issues are critical to a thriving industry and when gaming thrives, so do communities in 44 states across the country.”
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