Page 4 - Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News - September, 2017
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Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association
Gaming tax increase could have adverse consequences
Official Newsmagazine of the Mississippi & Louisiana Gaming Industries
SEPTEMBER 2017 Volume XV Issue 1
W. Michael Sunderman
Lori Beth Susman
General Manager / Executive Editor
Mary Sunderman
Associate Publisher
David Grisham
Contributing Editor
Michael Haynes
Business Manager
Brian Treadaway Kelsey Sunderman
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Copyright, 2017
Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News (MSLAGN) is owned and published by M2 Media Corp., 12268 Intraplex Parkway, Gulfport, MS 39503. MSLAGN is produced in cooperation with the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association and the Louisiana Casino Association. The contents of MSLAGN are copyright- ed. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permis- sion of the publisher is strictly prohibited.
By Larry Gregory
I was excited to read last month’s edition of Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News, which covered the 25 years of gaming. The stories recounting the early years were most
enlightening. It
reiterated why I
am so proud of
this industry.
• Additional 1 percent tax on casino winnings
• Elimination the Gaming Income Tax Credit
• The creation of a state lottery
Thus far, the state has failed to come up with a solution to deal with the poor condition of our state’s roads and bridges. This problem has been addressed numerous times over the past five years.
I believe we can all agree resoundingly there are statewide transportation and maintenance problems in our state. MDOT maintains roughly 30,000 highway miles of which 11,000 need
to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, 900 of the 5,700 bridges MDOT maintains need to be reconstructed, according to Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert.
While these problems need immediate solutions, to tax our industry at a time when we are being met with many challenges as a result of expansion is not the way forward.
Competition is fierce. We are a business just like every other business in our state. To select us because of who we are and the revenue we generate is not fair.
I would hope that in the coming months MDOT, state legislators,
the business community and other stakeholders can come up with a reasonable solution that will repair the fractured transportation system of our state while also allowing the state’s vital industries to continue making a robust economic contribution.A solid solution must have room for both. I sincerely believe our legislative leadership will
be able to solve this problem while recognizing the value our gaming industry provides to the state. We can do this.
Larry Gregory is the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association. He can be reached at
Soon after I
put that issue
down, I found
myself walking
up to the
state capitol
for a hearing
regarding state
and local roads
and bridges
and on ways of raising upwards of $330 million in taxes to pay for their maintenance.
Of course, what industry is the legislature considering to provide these funds? Yes, gaming.
Leaving the hearing I mused on what
I had said in last month’s column in recognition of gaming’s first 25 years. “The state of Mississippi should be forever grateful for its investment of legalized gaming,” I had said. And I stand by that sentiment. The state should remember this.
Just look at the unbelievable run
we have had during these years. Our industry has provided $24 billion in tax revenues and more than $22 billion
in wages and benefits. More than 500,000 jobs have been created. This is a huge contribution to make over the past 25 years.
Now, some want to change the tax structure of our industry. Undoubtedly, the stable tax rate and stability of
our regulatory agency has been the cornerstone of our industry’s success.
If we change this cornerstone we open the industry and our state up to adverse economic consequences.
Let’s look at what this committee is considering for our industry:
Larry Gregory

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