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US Congress to consider repealing 0.25% federal handle tax


The United States Congress is to consider a new federal bill aiming to remove a national 0.25% excise tax on sports wagering handle.

HB2350, also known as HR2350, proposes amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, specifically chapter 35, which relates to taxes on wagering.

First introduced in 1951, the tax does not apply to horse racing or sports betting operated by state lotteries, though operators eligible for the tax must also pay a $50-per-head employee tax.

Representative Dina Titus of Nevada introduced the bill, while Representatives Mark Amodei and Steven Horsford also of Nevada, as well as Representative Guy Reschenthaler from Pennsylvania, are sponsoring the bill.

Titus and Reschenthaler introduced a similar bill in July last year, but this failed to progress past the committee stage.

“The handle tax punishes legal gaming operators and encourages consumers to place bets illegally,” Titus said.

“As more states recognize the benefits of legalizing and regulating sports betting, repealing the handle tax will create jobs in Southern Nevada and across the country.”

“At a time when Las Vegas is experiencing the second highest unemployment rate of any large metro area in the country, forcing sportsbooks to pay an additional tax on each employee makes it harder to bring about economic recovery.”

Reschenthaler added: “Unfortunately, the industry is hindered by an outdated tax code and burdensome regulations that penalize legal, regulated operators while providing illegal operations with an unfair advantage.”

“The bill will ensure the gaming industry, hit hard by Covid-19 mandated closures and the cancellation of sporting events, is able to support good-paying jobs and economic growth in south-western Pennsylvania and across the country.”

HB2350 is currently with the House Committee on Ways and Means.