Press of Atlantic City: Casino tax fund generated record $504 million for those in need last year

By Nicholas Huba

ATLANTIC CITY — The city’s casino industry paid more than $504 million in taxes and fees last fiscal year, a record amount that helps fund programs around the state for its most vulnerable residents.

Money for the programs is generated from taxing various parts of the casino gaming industry from total gaming revenue to progressive slots.

The Casino Revenue Fund was established in 1976 with the provision that state revenues derived from casino gambling would be applied solely for the purpose of “providing funding for reductions in property taxes, rental, telephone, gas, electric, and municipal utilities charges of eligible senior citizens and disabled residents of the State in accordance with such formulae as the Legislature shall by law provide,” according to the state. The fund’s authorized use was expanded in 1981 to include additional or expanded health services or benefits and transportation services or benefits to eligible senior and disabled residents.

More than $436.6 million from the fund was budgeted for Community Care Program Individual Support, according to the 2023-24 state budget. The individual support services program delivers services, including help with household chores, and provides training to residents of state-licensed residential facilities to assist them with self-care and habilitation-related tasks.

The fund hit rock bottom in 2015 when it generated $205.9 million in revenue, the lowest amount since 1987, according to state records.