Judge Blee Halts His Decision to Deny Tax Break for Casinos in Atlantic City
The state of New Jersey requested a temporary stay of the judge’s order from August 29 that deemed the lucrative yearly tax break for the nine casinos in Atlantic City to be illegal, and the judge granted that request on October 14.
Judge Michael Blee of the Atlantic County Superior Court nevertheless set a 90-day maximum for the halt period, pending the approval of the case’s appeal by a higher court.
The difficulty here is that for taxation purposes, state officials include earnings from mobile and online sports betting with money made by casinos at their nine physical locations.
However, since 2013 for online casino gaming and since 2018 for sports betting, around two-thirds of the new revenue streams have been kept by the casino business partners in charge of those activities.
According to a 2016 agreement made to provide both parties more assurance over anticipated yearly payments, the statute in question excludes any such money from the formula used to calculate how much PILOT, payment in lieu of taxes, should be paid out by each casino.
Seth Grossman’s nonprofit organization, Liberty and Prosperity 1776, successfully contended that the legislation change violates the state constitution since it favors casinos over all other casino enterprises in the state.
The casinos were expected to save $55 million a year by completely eliminating the supplementary sources of income.
During an oral argument on October 13, the state’s attorneys argued that if the decision wasn’t postponed awaiting a further court review, the gaming industry would experience irreparable harm.