NV Takes on Tavern Versus Casino Debate

Right now there is another argument brewing for Las Vegas, Nevada. This time it is whether or not the rules for taxation are equitable among gaming facilities. The center of the argument lies with the tavern Dotty’s Casino. Though it has the word “casino” in its name, operators insist that it is a tavern. Why are they doing this? Because they know that if they label it as a casino, the tax rates change considerably. If you go to Dotty’s Casino you are going to find a full-service restaurant that features food and drinks for its patrons. Oh…there is one more thing though– the slots games. Set aside the casino also offers slots gaming to its customers and this is where the controversy starts. The casino is legally under the heading of tavern because it claims that the slots games are only a side feature that it offers. They make most of their revenue from their food and beverage sales. This is creating problems though coming from other casinos in the state. Dotty’s Casino, because of its classification, pays a flat fee per slots game that equates to about 1-2% in tax revenue dollars of its overall sales. On the other hand, casinos in the state pay between 8-9% of their overall income of gaming. They are claiming that this is unfair because casinos and Dotty’s have the same activities. So why is Dotty’s under a different pay schedule when it comes to taxes? They add that their casinos have done a lot for the state in terms of bringing new jobs to the local market. Why aren’t they given a tax break for that when Dotty’s has not embarked on anywhere near the same style of job creation initiatives?

The issue is going to be discussed on February 1st by the Gaming Board and they plan on doing a thorough investigation into Dotty’s Casino to see why it is classified as a “tavern” rather than a “casino” and if that is accurate. If it isn’t, their tax schedule could go up considerably. Until the issue is sorted out though, the state is no longer handing out any more tavern licenses.