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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

State and Local Finance: State Gambling Reports

State Gambling Reports

Presentation: State Revenues from Gambling

Interest in the Rockefeller Institute’s recent report on the impact of gambling on state fiscal health has peaked in recent months as state and national media organizations have cited the Institute’s findings. The report’s author, Dr. Lucy Dadayan, has also been a featured presenter at national association conferences both in the United States and in Canada. Her presentations drew from the April 2016 Blinken Report, entitled State Revenues from Gambling: Short-Term Relief, Long-Term Disappointment.
Lucy Dadayan, August 9, 2016

Blinken Report: State Revenues From Gambling: Short-Term Relief, Long-Term Disappointment

States turning to gambling as a quick fix for revenue woes have been disappointed with the results, according to a new study from the Rockefeller Institute. The study warns that “State officials considering expansion of existing gambling activities or legalization of new activities should weigh the pros and cons carefully.”
Lucy Dadayan, April 2016

By The Numbers: Powerball No Panacea for State Coffers

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.

State Revenues from GamblingShow Weakness Despite Gambling Expansion

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.

Back in the Black: States' Gambling Revenues Rose in 2010

State and local governments' revenues from gambling rose 2 percent in fiscal year 2010 compared to the previous year, following an unprecedented dip, according to this Institute report. Nonetheless, total revenues from gambling remained lower than in fiscal year 2008. Pennsylvania accounted for nearly half the nationwide growth in 2010.

Safe Bet: More State-Sponsored Gambling

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

For the First Time, a Smaller Jackpot: Trends in State Revenues
from Gambling

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 stateshave 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

From a Bonanza to a Blue Chip? Gambling Revenue to the States

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