State Republicans pulling for nontribal slot machines

16 Sep 2019 admin

first_imgOLYMPIA — Republican lawmakers steadfastly opposed to any tax increases suggested by Democrats say they have other ideas for raising money to help plug a $2 billion state budget shortfall.Their biggest proposal on the table: Gambling.Republican leaders want to let nontribal casinos offer the same slot machines as tribal casinos, with the state getting a cut of the revenue. Advocates say it would bring in nearly $160 million next fiscal year and $380 million in the following two years, although the governor’s office questions those numbers.“This to me seems like a pretty lucrative option,” said Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee. “Beside generating significant amounts of money, it also hits the other major issue we’re addressing, and that is putting people back to work.”Republicans say they want to help level the playing field for small, nontribal gambling halls that are struggling to compete with the glitzy tribal casinos.Democrats, who’ve been saying “everything is on the table” when it comes to balancing the state budget, seem inclined to leave this idea in the freezer. Democrats control the House, Senate and governor’s office.last_img

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