Could skill-based gaming affect a casino in Grand Island?
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hall County Board of Commissioners started the process of looking into taxing the revenue of skill-based cash devices Tuesday morning.
Most casino slot machines are built on chance but in skill games, the outcome is more dependent on the skills of the user. Another difference is casino games are subject to taxes, whereas skill-based gaming machines are not.
Near the end of the board’s time with the issue, Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak gave a short statement to the board. He said that the proliferation of the skill-based gaming machines could work to hinder the development at Fonner Park and building the $100 million plus casino on the north end of the grandstand.
He also said that when the voters granted the right to have casinos, they weren’t expecting to have gaming on every street corner. The opportunity the casino presents is greater than what the skill-based machines hold.
“What a casino and its laborers, and those who provide for a casino would bring to communities is exponentially greater than what these machines that Gary is referring to would bring in stores, bars, gas stations,” Kotulak said.
The item was brought to the board’s attention by Commissioner Gary Quandt, and the possibility of a question mark over the permanent casino is causing him concern.
“I hope for the communities sake that it don’t jeopardize the amount of money that is going to be spent out there on the facilities at Fonner Park for the new casino, and I also hope it don’t jeopardize what the intent was of the voters in 2020 in November that they want these casinos to help support property tax relief,” Quandt said.
The Hall County Board voted on Tuesday to have the county attorney look over the legislation that made the skill-based machines legal and see if it provides for the county to start collecting taxes on the revenue of the machines.
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