On June 12th, 2008, the casino facilities in Dover, Stanton, Harrington, which possess a state-sanctioned exclusivity on slot machines, received around 47.5% of the net slot machine profits back on 2007 or around $320 million. The state received around 35.3% of the slots profits or around $226 million. The remaining cash were given to the horse racing industry to help horse racing tracks to offer bigger purses and to the vendors who managed the slot machines.
With the state’s current budget deficit problems, legislators are suggesting that the state get an additional 6% of the slots profits that the casinos currently get, leaving the casino gambling industry and the state with a 41.5%. With the gaming facilities doing well and the state thinking of ways on how to solve the $217 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year starting on July 1st, 2008, legislators said that it is the right time to review the profit sharing plan.
Representative Deborah Hudson said that they should not raise taxes but instead talk with the casinos if they could divide the profits 50/50. Hudson said that the critical period for the casinos has already passed and they now have the capability to expand. Hudson also said that the casinos are considered to be state sanctioned monopoly gaming businesses and she does not think that they should continue to favor them in this way.
Legislators wanted to implement the new profit sharing plan in the next three years, with the state receiving 2% annually. Based on the existing 2007 fiscal year profits, the state could expect to receive an additional $12.7 million in the 1st year, $25.7 million in the 2nd year and $38.1 million in the 3rd year.
The president and chief executive officer of the Dover Downs Incorporated, Ed Sutor commented that a modification on the profit sharing plan could severely affect their capability to compete in even grounds on slot facilities in Pennsylvania and Maryland.