Gaming Tax Policy

AGA will continue to be a leading advocate for the industry by working with congressional members, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to ensure fair industry treatment specific to federal tax regulations.

Increase Federal Slot Tax Threshold

The $1,200 slot tax reporting threshold was set in the 1970s. AGA believes it is time to update the current slot jackpot reporting threshold to a higher level, such as $5,000, to address four decades of inflationary effects. Research commissioned by AGA suggested raising the slot threshold to $5,000 would result in as much as $500 million in annual savings to the gaming industry. Additionally, higher reporting threshold will help lower administrative costs and provide customers an improved experience when they visit our facilities.

Repeal Federal Excise Tax on Sports Betting

The Internal Revenue Code currently imposes a federal excise tax of 0.25% on the amount of any legal sports wager with a commercial sportsbook, as well as an additional $50 annual head tax for every employee engaged in receiving wagers for or on behalf of any legal sports betting operator. This tax was established in the 1950s, not as a revenue source, but rather as a tool for prosecuting illegal bookmaking operations that didn’t pay the tax.

Currently, this tax serves no dedicated purpose and represents an added operating cost to legal sportsbooks that illegal operators do not pay, further impeding customers’ move away from the predatory, illegal market to safe, regulated sports betting channels. Congress can help empower the success of a safe, regulated marketplace, by repealing the federal excise tax that unnecessarily disadvantage legal sports betting operations.

Encouraging Investment Through Sound Tax Policy

The AGA supports corporate tax policy that allows the gaming industry to continually make investments in our world-class entertainment facilities, experiences, and technologies. Our ability to innovate often requires borrowed capital to accomplish significant projects. That is why it is critical to preserve 4 interest expense deductibility and ensure the tax benefits attributed to capital and intellectual property expenditures are maintained while opposing the addition of a minimum tax regime.

Gaming innovation also depends on robust research and development. Securing a permanent refundable research and development tax credit would permit gaming equipment manufacturers and suppliers to plan for the long term while investing in cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the area of computer software. Additionally, for consumers, the AGA strongly believes those who itemize their returns should continue to have the ability to net their gaming losses and winnings for the purposes of determining their tax liability

Securing Additional COVID-19 Tax Relief to Accelerate Economic Recovery

The AGA applauds the historic, bipartisan legislation enacted in 2020 to address the economic crisis created by the pandemic. These relief efforts have been critical for our industry, which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic – with all 989 casinos across 41 states shuttered for some period during 2020. With U.S. gaming properties open at limited capacity for the foreseeable future, significant challenges lie ahead to restore our industry’s role as an economic engine for local communities and state and tribal governments. It is estimated that the economic impact of gaming contracted by $105 billion in 2020. Additional relief measures are needed to preserve and restore the jobs, tax revenue, and tribal economic support gaming communities across the country depend on.

These include:

• Build on the Success of the Employee Retention Tax Credit by establishing additional tax policies to support employers who keep employees on the payroll and incentivize rehiring.

• Expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to include those returning from COVID unemployment through December 31, 2021, would help employers looking to rehire their employees.

• Provide Tax Incentives to Revitalize Travel and Tourism to encourage business meetings and conventions and allow businesses to fully deduct the cost of ordinary and necessary business expenses at hospitality, and entertainment facilities.

• Tax Credits for COVID Expenses would help the gaming industry continue to safely reopen while ensuring the safety of employees and consumers by defraying the costs incurred for increased testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfecting, extra cleaning, and reconfiguring spaces to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

What Does Congressional Tax Reform Mean for Casino Customers?


Congress recently enacted extensive changes to our nation’s tax law. Among the changes contained in the final bill were a reduction or elimination of many deductions for both individuals and businesses.

To view the analysis on tax reform and what it means for casino customers, be sure to take a look at our one pager.

What Does Federal Tax Reform Mean for Casino Customers?
View the analysis on 2017 tax reform for casino customers.
View the document