Wed, Oct 2, 8:01am by Ethan Anderson
A casino north of Philadelphia overpaid taxes on its slot machines to the tune of more than $1.1 million, but Pennsylvania state officials say they’re keeping the money.
Casino.org reports that Commonwealth Court judge Kevin Brobson ruled Monday that the operator of Parx Casino isn’t entitled to receive the funds back, or be issued a credit against its future tax liability.
The decision culminates a years-long legal battle between the state and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment – the parent company to Parx.
Parx says it overpaid on slot machine gross gaming revenue between January 1, 2009 and January 4, 2011.
The accounting error resulted in the casino sending the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue $1,122,654.89 too much.
Greenwood Gaming filed a request with the state in June 2014 to recoup its tax overpay.
But in Pennsylvania, tax disputes must be received within three years of the filing.
The tax filing in question was submitted in January 2011, meaning the June 2014 request was roughly six months too late.
The casino argued in a lawsuit against the state revenue department that it was still eligible to receive a credit.
The judge found otherwise.
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“This Court frequently reviews matters that require application of a statute to particular facts and circumstances. We did that in reviewing this matter initially. As reflected in the Court’s Memorandum Opinion, we sided with…Commonwealth’s position and held that taxpayer’s petition for refund was untimely,” Judge Brobson said.
“The remaining question posed by taxpayer’s exceptions is whether the emphasis that taxpayer places on the substantive source for the credit it sought from the Department in this matter…warrants a different result from that set forth in the court’s Memorandum Opinion. It does not. Taxpayer’s exceptions are denied,” the Judge said.
Greenwood Gaming recently opened its sportsbook at Parx. While some casinos have built small lounges with a few seats and televisions in wake of sports betting expansion, Parx spent $10 million to create a “destination” for Eagles fans.
The 7,400-square foot area can accommodate 420 sports fans.
It features a 156-foot high HD media wall that can show 36 game at once.
Greenwood is also investing elsewhere in the state, specifically Shippensburg Township.
The company won one of the five state-issued category four satellite casino licences with an $8.11 million bid in February 2018.
The mini casino is still searching for a viable location for the venue.
In July, the company scrapped plans for building it off Interstate 81 at Route 174.
A geological survey found that the area could become susceptible to sinkholes in the future.
“There were significant issued that developed with the original site. We are currently working with the Shippensburg community and leaders to identify alternatives in the community,” Parx chief marketing officer Marc Oppenheimer said.
Each category four venue will be initially permitted to house up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games.
Sports betting operations can also be permitted with additional regulatory state approvals.
When the idea of expanded gambling in Arkansas first made the news, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones almost immediately starting working out a way to have a casino in the state.
The idea was made possible through an arrangement between one of his companies, Legends, and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma with someone deciding that the best location for the venue was exactly where it would be least welcome.
Calvin Ayre reports that Pope County voters didn’t show a lot of support for gambling when the state took to the pools on the subject, but that seemed to be the perfect place for the casino to call home. And it’s been an issue ever since.
The deal between Legends and the Cherokee would see the Legends Resort and Casino Arkansas built in Russellville.
It was the only offer accepted by the Arkansas Racing Commission, which irked several casino operators.
Now, Jerry Jones was on the receiving end of both the residents’ and the operators’ animosity.
Not anything the tycoon hasn’t seen before – he may even relish the attention.
Those operators, including Gulfside Casino Partnership, Warner Gaming with Hard Rock International, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Kehl family of Iowa, have been fighting the legality of the Cherokee/Legends approval.
The mud has been slinging and complaints of improprieties and unconstitutionality have been flying.
Pope County residents are ticked, as well, and things are going to get worse before they get better.
At least one lawsuit, launched by anti-casino group Citizens for a Better Pope County, is in place and more should be expected.
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