State and local government revenues from authorized gambling operations declined by 2.8 percent from 2008 to 2009, marking the first time those revenues have declined in over three decades, according to a new report issued today by the Rockefeller Institute. Data on the decline come as states continue to examine casinos, video-lottery terminals and other gambling operations as potential sources of new revenue — with 25 or more states considering such proposals in the past year.
“The historical tendency for revenues from existing gambling operations to grow at a significantly slower pace than other state revenues may hold important lessons for states as policymakers consider further expansion of casinos, racinos and other gambling activities,” write the report's authors, Lucy Dadayan and Robert B. Ward. “Expenditures on education and other programs will generally grow more rapidly than gambling revenue over time. Thus, new gambling operations that are intended to pay for normal increases in general state spending may add to, rather than ease, long-term budget imbalances.”
To read the report, visit the Institute's Web site.