April 2, 2021 Sports Betting, Legal

Bipartisan bill introduced to repeal excise tax on sports bets

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Representatives Dina Titus and Guy Reschenthaler have put forward the bill to repeal the tax.

The pair have introduced the new bipartisan legislation to revoke the 0.25% tax which is placed on all legal sports bets.

The “handle tax” forces sportsbooks to pay an annual $50 (£36) tax per employee. Some businesses are, however, exempt from the tax, including those involved in horse racing and sports betting, which is operated by state lotteries.

The tax was introduced in the 1950s, but Congressman Reschenthaler feels it is not necessary anymore. 

Reschenthaler said: “Gaming has a $6.34 billion economic impact in Pennsylvania and supports over 33,000 jobs.

“Unfortunately, the industry is hindered by an outdated tax code and burdensome regulations that penalize legal, regulated operators while providing illegal operations with an unfair advantage. 

“The bill will ensure the gaming industry, hit hard by Covid-19 mandated closures and the cancellation of sporting events, is able to support good-paying jobs and economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the country.”

Similarly, Congresswoman Titus feels that the handle tax punishes legal gaming operators and encourages people to place bets on illegal platforms.

Titus commented: “As more states recognize the benefits of legalizing and regulating sports betting, repealing the handle tax will create jobs in Southern Nevada and across the country. 

“At a time when Las Vegas is experiencing the second-highest unemployment rate of any large metro area in the country, forcing sportsbooks to pay an additional tax on each employee makes it harder to bring about economic recovery.”

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