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Gaming claims a place in presidential race

12 August 2015

By Steve Tetreault
WASHINGTON — The gaming and resort industries on Tuesday staked out a spot in the presidential race taking shape in Nevada, reminding leaders of their importance to the state's economy, as well as the votes of thousands of their workers.

"As you engage with presidential campaigns and candidates, officially or unofficially we urge you to impress upon them the importance of supporting gaming ...," top industry executives said in a letter to five dozen Nevada elected leaders from Gov. Brian Sandoval on down.

"No matter which candidate you prefer in the upcoming caucuses, each of them will boost their chances of winning the Silver State by taking a stand in support of gaming," was the message from Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive of the American Gaming Association, and Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resorts Association.

"Some candidates require more education than others, and you can play a tremendous role in this education process," the executives said without naming names.

Nobody has yet emerged from the large but early field of presidential contenders as an unofficial favorite of gaming. Several including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have been on record as opposing industry expansion in their home state of Florida while others have demonstrated varying opinions.

The Nevada push is the latest segment of the industry's "Gaming Votes" campaign that seeks to emphasize the economic clout of casinos and related businesses in states expected to play a big role in the upcoming elections.

In Nevada, Freeman and Valentine reminded that $8 billion in taxes paid by the industry makes up almost half the state's general fund revenue. The industry supports 425,000 jobs, they said.

The American Gaming Association that represents commercial casinos, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and some Native American gaming tribes, does not plan to endorse a candidate, although individual companies might become active. But the gaming association is preparing a voter guide for employees outlining candidate views on immigration reform, cyber-security, tax reform and other issues important to the industry.

"We will ensure gaming employees have all the information needed to make their decision during the caucuses this winter and on Election Day in November 2016," Freeman and Valentine said.

Copyright GamingWire. All rights reserved.

Gaming claims a place in presidential race is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
 

Lindsey Graham sends bill to ban online gambling (again) to Senate

25 June 2015
Legislation that would reimpose a ban on legalized online gambling was introduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate. The bill by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., would restore an interpretation of federal law that prohibited Internet gambling until a 2011 opinion by the Department of Justice opened the door for states to explore making poker and casino-style games legal online. ... (read more)
 

Casinos call IRS tax reporting proposal 'complicated, onerous and unproductive'

18 June 2015
When the Internal Revenue Service floated the idea of lowering the threshold for tax-reportable winnings from slot machines, the reaction from thousands of gamblers was a collective “Give us a break!” At an IRS public hearing Wednesday, the comments were a bit more formal. But a handful of casino executives, industry officials and tribal representatives delivered much the same message. ... (read more)
 

Casinos, allies blitz IRS on proposed reporting rule

3 June 2015
WASHINGTON — The casino industry and its allies on Capitol Hill have mounted a late push to persuade the Internal Revenue Service to back away from a proposal that would require winners of $600 jackpots to be reported to tax collectors. A winnings threshold of $1,200 now triggers casinos to prepare W2-G forms for customers who win at bingo or slots. ... (read more)

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