Markell Administration Proposes $8M for Casinos, Gov. Disagrees - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Markell Administration Proposes $8M for Casinos, Gov. Disagrees with "Bailout" Accusations

Posted:
(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC/AP)- Administration officials for Gov. Jack Markell are proposing an $8 million temporary financial bailout for Delaware's three casinos.

Administration officials made the proposal Monday to the legislature's capital budget committee as part of their recommendations for spending some $50 million in newly available funds. The new funding includes $21 million in estimated additional tax revenue for the fiscal year starting July 1, and $22 million in premiums from a recent bond sale.

Budget director Ann Visalli said the Department of Finance would develop a formula for distributing the cash to the casinos, which she said are struggling with gaps between revenues and costs.

It's no secret Delaware's casinos are having financial issues. Lots of people agree something has to be done. But some in Dover are using the word "bailout" to describe this idea.

Gov. Markell disagrees with that assessment and is defending the proposal.

"The real issue here is the contract for the machines the casinos use is about up," he said. "Those contracts are being re-bid now. There's likely to be a significant increase in what the vendors charge for those machines."

Markell says this is one-time assistance while state lawmakers take a look at broader issues with the relationship between the state and the industry.

The most notable question is are the casinos over-taxed? Their current rate is 43.5-percent. It rose to that level in 2009.

Sen. Brian Bushweller, D-Dover, says that's too high, considering the economy and added competition in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

"We may not be able to do anything about the competition or the sluggish economy," he said. "What we can do is correct the mistake we made in 2009. That's what the governor is proposing. I think it's a good idea."

But Rep. Dave Wilson, R-Bridgeville, worries about the precedent this would set and called it a bailout.

"My biggest concern is when we start funding casinos out of taxpayers' revenue I'm afraid down the road there will be other entities that will get in trouble and say, 'What can you do for us?' I'm really concerned about changing the structure of how we give people back funding."

Dover Downs tells WBOC it's not prepared to comment on this proposal yet. But the Associated Press quoted CEO Ed Sutor as saying, "Anything is helpful," and, "You don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

In the past few months, Sutor has pushed for the state to reduce the casinos' tax rate.    

"We're not in a position right now to do that," Markell said. "But a number of members of the General Assembly have asked for the opportunity to have that conversation. So, this is a temporary measure aimed to not make things worse in the meantime."

This proposal was made to lawmakers on the state's Bond Bill Committee. That committee is meeting this week to finalize its part of the budget.

Some Delaware residents told WBOC they think the $8 million would be a good investment for the state.

"If in the long-run they think they can get that and quite a bit more out of the casinos, then I think it is [a good idea]," Rob McAllister said.

However, others like James Ariette said casinos do not deserve help from the state.

"I don't think they should get a bailout because it's a business that these people decided to start, so take the licks as they come," he said."That money that they're talking about giving to the casinos as bail out that could be used for schools, education, I mean there's a lot of areas that need help more than a casino," Ariette said.

It is unclear if the casinos would have to pay back the money if they receive it.

In addition to casino relief, the administration has made several other recommendations for new capital budget expenditures, including $10 million in additional funds for the port of Wilmington.

WBOC reporter LeAnne Matlach contributed to this story.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Seeks Public Input

    Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Seeks Public Input

    Feb 23, 2018 3:06 AM2018-02-23 08:06:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 7:37 AM EST2018-02-23 12:37:03 GMT
    REHOBOTH BEACH, Del - The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays needs your help to update a comprehensive plan for managing the Inland Bays. The center has released a brief survey to address the community’s concerns relating to the health of the RehobMore
    The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is asking the public's help to update a comprehensive plan for managing the Inland Bays. More
  • Proposed Regulation Allowing Guns in Delaware State Parks Awaits Hearing in March

    Proposed Regulation Allowing Guns in Delaware State Parks Awaits Hearing in March

    Feb 22, 2018 10:41 PM2018-02-23 03:41:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 7:35 AM EST2018-02-23 12:35:24 GMT
    An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.
    An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.An outline of Killens Pond state park's restricted areas.
    GEORGETOWN, Del. - Delaware officials held a public meeting on Thursday night to answer the community's questions about the proposed regulation allowing guns into Delaware State Parks. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled the previous ban on firearms inside sMore
    Delaware officials held a public meeting on Thursday night to answer the community's questions about the proposed regulation allowing guns into Delaware State Parks. More
  • Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money From Employers

    Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money from his Employers

    Feb 23, 2018 12:12 AM2018-02-23 05:12:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 7:33 AM EST2018-02-23 12:33:49 GMT
    Courtesy of the Milford Police Department Courtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Courtesy of the Milford Police DepartmentCourtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Milford police say they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers.More
    Milford police say they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers. More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money From Employers

    Milford Man Arrested for Stealing Money from his Employers

    Feb 23, 2018 12:12 AM2018-02-23 05:12:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 7:33 AM EST2018-02-23 12:33:49 GMT
    Courtesy of the Milford Police Department Courtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Courtesy of the Milford Police DepartmentCourtesy of the Milford Police Department
    Milford police say they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers.More
    Milford police say they arrested a man on theft charges after they learned he had been writing checks out to himself from his employers. More
  • Dover Police: 7, Including 4 Gang Members, Arrested in Drug and Firearm Investigation

    Police Arrest Seven, Including Gang Members, in Drug and Firearm Investigation

    Feb 22, 2018 1:52 PM2018-02-22 18:52:00 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 2:49 PM EST2018-02-22 19:49:46 GMT
    Jaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover PoliceJaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover Police
    Jaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover PoliceJaymere Lewis, Jaleel Wayman, Michael Taylor; Photo Credit: Dover Police
    Dover police say seven people are in custody - including four gang members - after a drug and firearm investigation.More
    Dover police say seven people are in custody - including four gang members - after a drug and firearm investigation.More
  • DelDOT Has Long-Term Plans for Cashless Tolls

    DelDOT Has Long-Term Plans for Cashless Tolls

    Feb 21, 2018 6:49 PM2018-02-21 23:49:00 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 6:56 PM EST2018-02-21 23:56:11 GMT
    DOVER, Del. --- Drivers may one day be able to leave their cash and coins for tolls in Delaware at home because DelDOT plans to exclusively use electronic tolling in several years. C.R. McLeod, a DelDOT spokesman, said a pilot program on the new U.S. RoutMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Drivers may one day be able to leave their cash and coins for tolls in Delaware at home because DelDOT plans to exclusively use electronic tolling in several years. C.R. McLeod, a DelDOT spokesman, said a pilot program on the new U.S. RoutMore
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More
  • Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
  • Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices