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Record-Breaking Year For Pennsylvania Casino Industry

Roulette GameNevada might be the top destination in the U.S. for those who like to gamble, but it might surprise some to know that Pennsylvania is the second-most popular spot for those looking to ask lady luck for a hand.

And more and more tourists are heading to Pennsylvania to play poker, the slots, table games, keno, bingo, and bet on the horses. Canadians and other non-U.S. residents who win at any of the state’s 12 casinos need to be aware that their winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS.

Record-Breaking Year for Pennsylvania Casino Industry

For the Pennsylvania casino industry, 2015 was a record year that generated $3.17 billion in gambling revenue—a 3.41% increase over 2014.1

Table games brought in a record $808 million in 2015, a 7.8% increase from 2014. Three casinos reported double-digit growth in table gaming revenue: The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem; the Parx Casino, located just outside Philadelphia; and The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, which is situated south of Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania has seen gambling revenue top the $3 billion mark every year since 2010. In 2012, the state become the second-largest gambling market in the U.S, a title previously held by New Jersey. By comparison, in 2015, New Jersey’s eight casinos reported $2.56 billion in gambling revenue, a 6.5% decrease over 2014.

Why the draw to Pennsylvania over New Jersey? While New Jersey requires all casinos to be in Atlantic City, Pennsylvania’s casinos are found throughout the state and in close proximity to the major city centres and travel destinations—that means the casinos are located in or near popular locations like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Erie, and Mt. Poconos.

Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin

The Lady Luck Casino in Nemacolin opened its doors in July 2013. While it’s not the biggest casino in Pennsylvania, the new casino was definitely one of the most popular with its annual table game and slot revenue up 4.49% at $5.30 million 2 while slot revenue was up 12.18% at $29.91 million.3

Located 90 minutes south of Pittsburgh, Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, features around 600 slot machines—which range from a penny or a nickel all the way up to $100—29 table games—including Blackjack, House Money, In Between, Roulette, Criss Cross Poker, Four Card Poker, and Mississippi Stud—as well as a restaurant and lounge.

While there are no accommodations at the casino, just down the road is the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, which is also promoted on the casino’s web site. Situated on 2,000 acres, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort features 318 guestrooms, suites, townhomes, and private homes. It includes the Falling Rock boutique hotel, which was the recipient of the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards—one of only 25 in the world to receive both awards simultaneously.

The Woodlands Spa at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort features 40 treatment rooms and a full service salon with nearly 100 treatments. For those who prefer to relax with golf, the resort offers 36-holes of championship golf on two courses: Mystic Rock and The Links. The resort also has restaurants and lounges, and plenty of seasonal outdoor activities.

Non-U.S. Residents Subject to 30% Withholding Tax

If you are a non-U.S. resident and win a significant amount of money at any of the casinos in Pennsylvania or anywhere else in the U.S., your winnings could be subject to a 30% withholding tax. But, if you live in a country like Canada, which has signed a U.S. tax treaty, you may be eligible for a refund.

Some of the countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty, but may still be eligible for a refund, include: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the U.A.E. However, based on a recent court case, winners from these countries may qualify for a refund if they meet certain criteria.

If you win a substantial amount gambling (typically over $1,200), your winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS. If you win $2,000 playing the slots, the casino will pay you $1,400. The IRS keeps the rest.

RMS is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back

If you’ve been to the U.S. and had 30% of your winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.

Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund  provider for non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest.

Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS. We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund. Contact us today by calling our toll-free number at 1-888-272-5559 or by emailing us at [email protected].


  1. Kramer, R., “Record-breaking year for Pennsylvania casino industry,” Press of Atlantic Cityweb site, January 19, 2016; http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/record-breaking-year-for-pa-casino-industry/article_afdc5670-bed4-11e5-bd43-7393bda3793b.html
  2. “Strong December Table Games Numbers Spur Record Casino Gaming Revenue Year In Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, January 15, 2016; http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?pr=650.
  3. “2015 Pennsylvania Slot Machine Revenue Up 2% Over Previous Year,” Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, January 6, 2016; http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?pr=648.
  4. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort web site, last accessed January 25, 2016; http://www.nemacolin.com/casino/.

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