The state Senate passed a sweeping gambling expansion bill Wednesday that’s projected to generate between $109 million and $147 million in new revenue amid a growing deficit.
Fantasy contests, online gaming and tablets at airports are a few of the key components of House Bill 271, which was amended by the Senate on its way back to the House. Reaching an agreement on these measures has proven elusive in the past.
HB 271 also fixes the so-called “local share” payments that casinos pay to their host communities. Last year, the state Supreme Court ruled that the current method of calculating payments violated a constitutional provision barring unequal tax rates.
The Legislature is running up against a May 26 deadline, which was the result of a previous extension granted after it adjourned without resolving the issue last year. Without a fix, counties and municipalities risk losing more than $140 million.