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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Where Do LV Gambling Dollars Go?

Aside from a credit on your school taxes, which could be $172 in Bethlehem or over $500 in Allentown, where do gambling dollars generated by the Sands Casino go. From 2009 until last month, month, here's the breakdown.

Bethlehem is the big winner. It has received $50,712,928.55 thus far, not including the host fee due for 2015.

Believe it or not, Allentown also gets a very large share. In addition to the NIZ tax break, it has pulled in $20,537,610.36, not counting the 2015 host fee.

The nine-person Gaming Authority, which only has control only over slots revenue and must giver priority to municipalities surrounding the Sands Casino, has received $10,386,615.85. Thus far, it has awarded grants as follows: Freemansburg - $1.978 million; Bethlehem - $1.486 million; Bethlehem Tp - $1.474 million; Hellertown - $1.184 million; Northampton County - $1.181 million; Lower Saucon Tp - $0.416 million; Hanover Tp - $0.507 million; Lower Saucon Tp - $0.766 million; Hellertown and Lower Saucon joint grants - $0.416 million; Easton - $21,682; 31 other municipalities - $1.298 million.

Northampton County has received $10,941,944.56, including table games revenue, and is using that money to fund community investment grants and other small loans geared toward the municipalirties outside of he urban core.

Easton has received $3,924,979.21.

Lehigh County has received $5,632,083.24, as well as an additional $1,477,436.90 for grants to municipalities.


Anonymous said...

At this point everyone should take a pause and thank John Callahan for working so hard to make the casino not only happen but also be so successful. You may not always love him, although many miss him now, and you may not like where all the money went, but he was a huge advocate for the regional revenue share model and that would not have happened unless he agreed. I know it is corny metaphor, but he was holding all cards but wanted to do the right thing for the region. That one decision was probably one of the most impactful and impressive examples of regional cooperation in the valley's history. Where would Bethlehem's finances be without the casino and also all the other municipalities that have benifited from those dollars. There also would be no Steelstacks. I know we often like to criticize on this blog but we also need to give credit once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem's finances are still in bad shape. There is no promised tax relief as Donchex has raised taxes 2 years in a row.

Anonymous said...

Dependence on gambling as income is a sign of personal and societal decline. The final harvest.

Anonymous said...

It's not just John Callahan. It took investment from the casino owner to make it work. You make it seem like John also told the Sands how to advertise, what restaurants would work and where to run the busses from NYC to get the most folks into the casino. Really it too a lot more than John. He said when he lost the county exec race that he did not build SteelStaks to give a concession speech. Well he did not build it at all. That was ArtsQuest and very generous donars. Plus the previous administration took the lumps from the community over the casino and John got the rewards and cut the ribbons.

Harvey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Screw Callahan, the pay to play political gaming of the political system, was accomplished way above the lowly mayor. Philly pols are the reason sands is in play...

Anonymous said...

That's the trouble with people who react to blogs or letters to the newspaper. It's easy to react viscerally but harder to recall how bad things were and how people have worked to make them better.

Do you remember a few years ago, when Bethlehem Steel shut down and the city's tax base collapsed? Bethlehem fell into the category of a distressed city. Mayor Callahan's efforts to attract the Sands Casino helped turn the city around. We now have a major employer and, as a byproduct, SteelStacks, which attracts visitors from outside the city.

The host fee from the casino pays for most of the cost of the city's police department. Without the host fee, property owners would pay 39 percent more in real estate taxes—not just for one year but for all future years thereafter.

From that standpoint, the property tax increases of recent years are minor (2.2 percent in 2016). I am on a fixed income—a low income at that—yet I feel that the tax increases have been nominal and affordable.

The city's turnaround has taken many years, and mayors Callahan, Cunningham and Donchez deserve credit.

Frank Baran

Anonymous said...

Beyond Allentown, only 4 Lehigh County Municipalities have ever benefited from the local share. Meanwhile, Northampton County Municipalities benefit from both Northampton County's and Monroe County'share share. These numbers do not reflect Monroe share. Generally speaking, NC municipalities receiver greater benfit from Monroe than Lehigh receives from Sands. There is something fundamentally wrong when a community 35 miles away from Mt Airy benefits from Monroe share, however a Lehigh County municipality 5 miles away from the Sands, need not apply. While well intended, it may be time to take a second look at local share.

Anonymous said...

I agree

Anonymous said...

Arts Quest only built the AQ center. The rest including Levitt was paid for and built by the Bethlehem RDA using Casino Tif financing