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South Dakota House Committee Finalizes Casino Gambling Tax Bill

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While many states are turning to new casinos to help them through the financial crisis, South Dakota is leaning on already existing casinos for help. Lawmakers have been throwing around different idea and they have settled on one that will raise $1 million more annually.

Deadwood casinos will be paying an additional one percent tax on their adjusted gross proceeds. That one percent will not bring the state what they were seeking in money, but it served as a compromise.

Lawmakers wanted to raise the license fee from $2,000 to $3,000 per machine. That licensing fee is paid annually, but the plan did not get very far after opposition pointed out its flaws.

The licensing fees change would have made the state an additional $4 million if everything had gone according to plan. Opponents, however, argued that the additional fee per machine could cause casino owners to eliminate some of their slot machines.

Eventually, lawmakers in the House committee agreed that the one percent tax would be the best for all parties involved. After voting 10-3 in favor of the Bill, the committee has now sent the Bill to the full House for further discussions.

The state casinos are at the end of their rope financially. The economy has hurt business and many of the casinos are barely hanging on. While they can endure a one percent tax, they cannot absorb much more than that and stay financially stable.

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