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Gulf Coast Casino Sites Do Not Get Tax Break

Nearly $8 billion in tax breaks for Gulf Coast businesses have been passed by Congress Friday, but they were not passed to golf courses, liquor stores, and casinos. This is the main way that law and government officials have responded to President Bush’s appeal for revitalizing the region with an enterprise zone. Almost four months have passed since Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed businesses and land-based casino venues among the homes and lives it demolished. The government knew it would have to respond in some way to help the businesses when they began to re-open.

The House and Senate passed the bill, which Bush called an essential part of his plan to help rebuild the Gulf Coast. Why casinos or other recreational businesses were not put on this bill is unclear. Liquor stores, country clubs, massage parlors, golf courses, and many other leisure time businesses were ignored. One can only guess why such major establishments, like the numerous casinos found along the Gulf Coast, were denied this financial help.

The tax breaks for business investment want to draw companies into the region and keep those already present. If companies kept employees on the payroll while closed because of storm damage, they can now use a tax credit to defray salaries. When the casinos of this region will receive financial assistance is still unknown. Hopefully for these recreational establishments, casino fans and other leisure time lovers will see and reap the benefits of these tax breaks in the months to come.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.