State Gambling Reports
Across the country, all eyes are on the record Powerball jackpot and while one or more lucky winners may be sharing a fortune, what will ticket sales do for state revenues? According to Rockefeller Institute researchers Lucy Dadayan and Don Boyd, every dollar brought in by states helps, but net revenues from lottery sales are not big in the scheme of state budgets. In their most recent By the Numbers Brief, Dadayan and Boyd indicate that gross lottery sales in fiscal year 2014 were approximately $70.2 billion, and yet net revenues for state budgets after payment of prizes, administrative costs, and other expenses made up a more modest $18.1 billion return to states, or about 2 percent of tax revenue. Despite the fact that lottery revenues are frequently directed to dedicated purposes (e.g., education), higher lottery revenue does not necessarily translate into increased state spending for those purposes.
States’ revenues from gambling showed soft growth at 0.6 percent in fiscal 2014, despite expansion of various gambling activities in recent years. In fiscal 2014, revenue collections from lotteries and racinos grew by 0.6 and 1.5 percent, respectively, while revenue collections from casinos declined by 1.4 percent. The expansion of gambling across the nation created stiff competition for certain regions of the nation and heightened rivalry for the same pool of consumers.
Gambling revenues are a small share of state budgets. Yet they are a steady revenue stream that can be easier to expand than taxes, this former New York Lottery Director writes. In this guest essay, he analyzes resulting issues, including the role of the federal government as the Internet and new gaming technologies make state borders less relevant.
Jeff Perlee, October 2009
State and local gambling revenues dropped 2.8 percent in 2009, according to preliminary data in this report. The drop is the first in at least three decades. In the past year, at least 25 states have considered expanding gambling operations.
Lucy Dadayan and Robert B. Ward, September 21, 2009
Presentation to the New Hampshire Gaming Study Commission, Robert B. Ward, October 6, 2009
Presentation to Stop Predatory Gambling, Lucy Dadayan, November 9, 2009
For more than two decades, states saw lotteries and casinos as a bonanza of new dollars for education and other programs. Gambling revenue is now at an all-time high, but growth is slowing due to objections about social impacts and broader economic trends. And the report shows that states vary widely in their reliance on gambling revenues.
Lucy Dadayan, Nino Giguashvili, and Robert B. Ward, June 19, 2008
Read the News Release