As a group, and prior to the current economic conditions, the publicly held companies had a net profit ratio (earnings before income taxes & depreciation) that averages 25% of income after deduction of the gross revenue taxes and interest payments. On average, almost two thirds of the remaining profits are utilized for reinvestment and asset replacement. Casino operations in low gross gaming tax rate jurisdictions are more readily able to reinvest in their properties, thereby further enhancing revenues that will eventually benefit the tax base. New Jersey is a good example, as it mandates certain reinvestment allocations, as a revenue stimulant. joker123
Other states, such as Illinois and Indiana with higher effective rates, run the risk of reducing reinvestment that may eventually erode the ability of the casinos to grow market demand penetrations, especially as neighboring states become more competitive. Moreover, effective management can generate higher available profit for reinvestment, stemming from both efficient operations and favorable borrowing & equity offerings.How a casino enterprise decides to allocate its casino profits is a critical element in determining its long-term viability, and should be an integral aspect of the initial development strategy. While short term loan amortization/debt prepayment programs may at first seem desirable so as to quickly come out from under the obligation, they can also sharply reduce the ability to reinvest/expand on a timely basis. This is also true for any profit distribution, whether to investors or in the case of Indian gaming projects, distributions to a tribe’s general fund for infrastructure/per capita payments.Moreover, many lenders make the mistake of requiring excessive debt service reserves and place restrictions on reinvestment or further leverage which can seriously limit a given project’s ability to maintain its competitiveness and/or meet available opportunities.Whereas we are not advocating that all profits be plowed-back into the operation, we are encouraging the consideration of an allocation program that takes into account the “real” costs of maintaining the asset and maximizing its impact.