Parx Casino Near Philadelphia Overpaid Taxes by $1.1M, Pennsylvania Plans on Keeping It

Posted on: September 30, 2019, 01:33h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2019, 02:49h.

Parx Casino north of Philadelphia overpaid taxes on its slot machines to the tune of more than $1.1 million, but Pennsylvania state officials say they’re keeping the money.

Parx Casino tax Pennsylvania gambling
Parx Casino was accidentally generous in terms of remitted tax revenue to its home state of Pennsylvania. (Image: Kim Weimer/Bucks County Courier Times)

Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson ruled Monday that the casino operator isn’t entitled to receive the funds back, or be issued a credit against its future tax liability. The decision culminates a years-long legal battle between the state and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment – the parent company to Parx.

Parx says it overpaid on slot machine gross gaming revenue (GGR) between January 1, 2009, through January 4, 2011. The accounting error resulted in the casino sending the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue $1,122,654.89 too much.

Timing is Everything

Green Gaming filed a request with the state in June 2014 to recoup its tax overpay. But in Pennsylvania, tax disputes must be received within three years of the filing.

The tax filing in question was submitted in January 2011, meaning the June 2014 request was roughly six months too late. The casino argued in a lawsuit against the state revenue department that it was still eligible to receive a credit. Brobson found otherwise.

This Court frequently reviews matters that require application of a statute to particular facts and circumstances. We did that in reviewing this matter initially. As reflected in the Court’s Memorandum Opinion, we sided with … Commonwealth’s position and held that Taxpayer’s petition for refund was untimely,” Brobson explained.

“The remaining question posed by Taxpayer’s exceptions is whether the emphasis that Taxpayer places on the substantive source for the credit it sought from the Department in this matter … warrants a different result from that set forth in the Court’s Memorandum Opinion. It does not. Taxpayer’s exceptions are denied.”

Parx Expansion

Greenwood Gaming recently opened its sportsbook at Parx. While some casinos have built small lounges with a few seats and televisions in wake of sports betting expansion, Parx spent $10 million to create a “destination” for Eagles fans.

The 7,400-square-foot area can accommodate 420 sports fans. It features a 156-foot high HD media wall that can show 36 games at once.

Greenwood is also investing elsewhere in the state, specifically Shippensburg Township. The company won one of the five state-issued Category 4 satellite casino licenses with an $8.11 million bid in February 2018.

The mini-casino is still searching for a viable location for the venue. In July, the company scrapped plans for building it off Interstate 81 at Route 174. A geological survey found that the area could become susceptible to sinkholes in the future.

“There were significant issues that developed with the original site. We are currently working with the Shippensburg community and leaders to identify alternatives in the community,” said Parx Chief Marketing Officer Marc Oppenheimer.

Each Category 4 venue will be initially permitted to house up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games. Sports betting operations can also be permitted with additional regulatory state approvals.