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Reps. Titus, Reschenthaler Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Excise Tax on Legal Sports Bets

Washington, DC – As March Madness kicks off, Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Gaming Caucus, reintroduced legislation today to repeal the 0.25% excise tax placed on all legal sports bets, known as the “handle tax.”

Sports betting is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. By one estimate, 68 million American adults plan to place $15.5 billion in bets on the NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament this year. In 2022, gaming establishments in Nevada paid nearly $22 million in handle taxes, almost double the state’s total from 2019 and more than four times the national average.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, when Rep. Titus once attempted to determine how the federal government allocated the money collected from this tax, “the IRS couldn’t answer.” In addition to the handle tax, businesses must also pay an annual $50-a-head tax on each employee working in sportsbooks. Both provisions discourage employment and empower illegal operators, as they can attract customers by offering better odds.

“With the explosive growth of sports betting across the country, it’s time to finally repeal the handle tax which penalizes legal gaming operators and punishes sportsbooks for creating jobs,” said Rep. Titus. “As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Gaming Caucus, I’m pushing this legislation to keep legal gaming markets thriving nationwide and help local economies reap the benefits of this growing industry.”

“The U.S. gaming industry provides over one million jobs, including 33,171 jobs in Pennsylvania, and generates more than 70 billion for state and local governments throughout the country,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “Unfortunately, outdated tax codes and burdensome regulations penalize legal operators and incentivize illegal activity. The Discriminatory Gaming Tax Repeal Act will ensure the gaming industry can support good-paying jobs and promote economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the nation. I’m proud to join Gaming Caucus Co-Chair Titus in introducing this bipartisan legislation, and I urge our colleagues in the House to support it.”