Panel proposes $45M in taxpayer money for Delaware casinos

By RANDALL CHASE Associated Press AP logo
Thursday, January 22, 2015

DOVER, Del. -- A panel trying to figure out what to do about Delaware's struggling gambling industry has voted to go all in with another taxpayer bailout.

The panel voted 5-to-4 Thursday to recommend an annual cut of almost $46 million to the state budget to help Delaware's three casinos, which continue to lose business to newer and bigger casinos in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The proposal is opposed by Gov. Jack Markell's administration and faces an uphill battle in the General Assembly.

The proposal is being pushed by Democratic Sen. Brian Bushweller, whose district includes the Dover Downs casino.

It calls for the state to pay more casino vendor costs, sharply reducing the state's take from table games, and giving the casinos credits estimated at $30 million annually for marketing and capital expenditures.