Meetings & Information


Sunday, April 17, 2016

3 things to know about your taxes and state gambling revenues

As the nation's annual April 15th tax filing deadline nears, one reason why you and citizens everywhere are paying more taxes for less government services than you should is because of regional casinos and lotteries.

State governments have relentlessly pushed these extreme forms of gambling onto the public in a bid to collect more money.

Yet a new report this week by the Rockefeller Institute of Government at SUNY Albany confirms what is becoming obvious to most Americans: "In the long-run, the growth in state revenues from gambling activities slows or even reverses and declines."

That means higher taxes for less services. And worse budget problems. For everyone. Except for the people who own the commercial gambling operation.

You're paying even if you're not playing.

You can read the full report here. You can read a Reuters national wire story about it here.
Please share it as widely as you can, especially with opinion leaders in your region of the country including legislators, local and state officials, journalists, business leaders, civic groups and non-profits. You can copy and post this link to share on Facebook and other social media.

Key takeaways of the report include:
1) Government-sponsored casinos and lotteries are contributing to rising inequality. According to the report: "The economics literature supports the argument that gambling activities, particularly lottery activities, are regressive in nature and attract poorer population. Therefore, gambling often leads to reduction of disposable income for low-income households, particularly at a time when their income is not growing and is even declining in real terms."

2) In states that sponsor commercial gambling, all taxpayers—including the non-gamblers-- end up paying higher taxes for less services and their states end up with worse budget problems over the long term. Taxpayers who don’t gamble are footing the bill.

3) Expansion of gambling leads to more social costs, which in turn leads to economic costs. These costs are paid by all taxpayers and not just by gamblers.

Please make the extra effort to share this report and its message. Instead of lowering the tax burden on citizens, government-sponsored gambling has proven to be a spectacular failure, worsening state fiscal woes while contributing to rising inequality of opportunity for tens of millions of Americans.

Thank you.
Les Bernal
National Director
Stop Predatory Gambling

Build a more humane and just society: sunset the policy of government-sponsored gambling because it's dishonest, financially damaging to citizens and contributes to rising inequality of opportunity.

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