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

Jul 24, 2020
Press Release

July 24, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today Representatives Dina Titus (NV-1) and Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal the 0.25% excise tax placed on all legal sports bets, known as the “handle tax.”

In 2019, gaming establishments in Nevada paid ​about $13.3 million in handle taxes – the most of any state. When Congresswoman Titus once sought to find out how the federal government allocated the money it received in from this tax, “The IRS couldn’t answer how the money was being used.”

Certain types of sports betting, including betting on horse racing and sports betting operated by state lotteries, are already exempt from the handle tax. Businesses that pay the excise tax must also pay an annual $50 per-employee tax on those who work in sportsbooks.

“Sports are back,” said Congresswoman Titus (NV-1). “Unfortunately, the penalty on making legal sports bets never left. The handle tax makes it more difficult for legal gaming establishments to compete with illegal operators. Repealing it will push more consumers out of the black market and into a well-regulated market. Forcing sportsbooks to pay a per-employee tax is the last thing we need when gaming establishments are still making announcements about new rounds of layoffs and furloughs.” 

“I’m proud to join my Gaming Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Dina Titus to introduce this important legislation that will eliminate an outdated tax and burdensome requirements on the gaming industry,” said Congressman Reschenthaler (PA-14). “Gaming is a vital economic driver in Pennsylvania, supporting over 33,000 jobs. This bill will help pave the way for economic growth and job creation in my district and throughout the nation.”