While casinos argue that because there is no money exchanging hands, there is no sale to tax, the Commission counters that to be considered a sale, money does not need to be exchanged and visitors must gamble in order to receive the complimentary meals.
Due to union agreements, many Nevada casinos are also required to give their employees free meals. The Commission argues that because the casino is agreeing to provide the meal, they are also agreeing to pay the sales tax.
The Commission decided that the sales tax will be calculated based on the retail price of the meal.
The decision was based on a single case, in which the Commission rejected an appeal by Boyd Gaming, owner of several Las Vegas casinos, to have their taxes refunded.
Boyd Gaming will most likely take their case to the Nevada Supreme Court.