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Congress: No hurricane tax relief for casinoscomment (0)

January 5, 2006

WASHINGTON — Both houses of Congress have approved nearly $8 billion in tax relief for Gulf Coast businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina. However, it will not be extended to casinos — as well as liquor stores, massage parlors and racetracks.

But the casinos may still benefit from an exception in the bill.

The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act, H.R. 4440, passed the House 415–4 Dec. 7, then cleared the Senate by unanimous consent Dec. 16. President George W. Bush signed it Dec. 21, according to The Associated Press.

Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research at the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, said it’s a sign that Congress understands casinos don’t need any more money. “They are so flush with cash they really don’t need the benefits like many other businesses need them,” he said. “Congress made the right call and decided it just wasn’t appropriate to subsidize those kinds of businesses.”

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