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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Anti-gambling is a luxury good?

From Stateline.org:
The recession is so dire that elected officials in some states are dropping their long-standing opposition to gambling and considering ways to expand gaming or allow it for the first time.

In the past week, the governors of Hawaii and Ohio said they would consider changing their minds to permit certain types of gambling in their states. Wyoming’s governor said he would support the state’s first lottery. Two Nebraska lawmakers proposed allowing up to 3,500 slot machines at racetracks. Maine’s gaming board is reviewing a plan to allow Sunday morning hours at the state’s only gaming facility. In every instance, officials cited their quest to find money to offset multi-million- dollar revenue losses by their states.
How pathetic.

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It makes sense though, doesn't it? Gambling attracts a certain crowd of "undesirables." Cities and states who wish to repel that crowd have to incur the costs associated with banning gambling, specifically the associated tax revenues.

It would be interesting to map gambling regulations by state real GDP to see if gambling regulations get looser as the tax-base decreases.
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