Casinos may be taxed for comping meals to gamblers

This discussion has been going on for while and a recent ruling by a Nevada judge has stated that casinos are responsible for the tax on comped meals that are provided to gamblers.  The main logic behind the ruling is that if you are paying with comp points, you are paying with a different form of currency but you are still paying for the meal.  The main discussion focuses on points. It implies that casinos will not have to pay tax on promotions where you are offered 2 free buffets when booking a room of for earning a certain number of points as long as points are not the method of payment.

This difference does play into the comp game a little.  If you go to a buffet and pay with points right now, there is no tax.  If the buffet price is $11.99, you pay $11.99 in comp points.  If you charge that to your room, the total charged to the room will include tax (which I think would be a total of $12.96, but I cannot promise that).  If you pay your room bill with comp points, you will be paying that tax (even if you are paying the tax with comp points). That is why whenever I am given the option to pay for a meal with comp points, I do it.

Here is a link to the VegasINC article about it.

 

3 thoughts on “Casinos may be taxed for comping meals to gamblers”

  1. Don’t be surprised if the casinos make you pay the tax in cash. In New Jersey, there is a tax on comped rooms of anywhere between $5 and $13 depending on the casino (and I’ve never figured out why there is a wide range in the tax). The casinos make you pay it in cash or charge it to your credit card. You can’t pay the tax in comps.

    1. That is a possibility.
      I have had to pay the fees you mention in Atlantic City and at least one of those fees only applied to comped rooms.
      It might be different in Las Vegas, though. I know that I have effectively used comp points to pay for taxes when charging a meal to my room and then paying the room charges with comp points.

      1. That’s the case with MGM properties, but not Caesars properties in Las Vegas. If you charge a meal to your room and use Total Rewards points, you still are charged only for the base cost of the meal and not the taxes. Charged grauities, though, must be paid in cash or by credit cards. Same everywhere else I’ve stayed. Regarding taxes and fees In Atlantic City, they are sometimes picked up by the casino if you show enough play, or they’re quietly taken out of your comp dollars (which you wouldn’t know if you weren’t keeping track). Most players must pay (cash or credit card when they check out.) And, by the way, that extra $8 that Caesars-owned casinos charges you is basically a “convenience fee” — no one requires them to charge that, and only the Tropicana charges more than the $5; they add a $5 fee. It all goes back into the casino. (Trump Plaza waives the fee for its Signature cardholders.) The Borgata is the only casino in AC that allows you to use comps for the $5 tax.

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