Gambling revenues, once a mere trickle, have become a critical stream of income in a number of states, in some cases surpassing traditional sources like the corporate income tax and helping states lower personal income or property taxes.
The sums are so alluring that some officials are concerned that their states are becoming as addicted as problem gamblers. “We’re drunk on gambling revenue,” said Representative Wayne A. Smith, the Republican who is House majority leader in the Delaware Legislature. “Gambling revenues are like free money.”
In Rhode Island, South Dakota, Louisiana, Oregon and, most of all, Nevada, taxes from casinos, slot machines at racetracks and lotteries make up more than 10 percent of overall revenues, according to a new report. In Delaware, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa and Mississippi, gambling revenues are fast approaching 10 percent.
Anyone have expertise in this area? My gut instinct is to allow it, but I am sensitive to arguments that gaming really doesn’t create wealth so much as amount to a self-imposed transfer payment, and I am aware of the bnumber of other problems that follow the gaming industry. However, I wouild like to know more.