Category Archives: Gambling

Casino and Political Gaming in Connecticut

Source: Shelley Michelson, MuniNet Guide, December 1, 2014

As casino gaming goes in the State of Connecticut, so go the State’s finances. …

…Competition in the gaming market has increased markedly since Foxwood’s opening when there were a total of 10 other casinos, all in New Jersey, which became an over-built market suffering from multiple bankruptcies and closures. As of September of this year, the number of Northeast area casinos had increased to 57, with 20 more under consideration. Competition from Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino and the slots at Aqueduct and Yonkers Racetracks in New York have cut into revenues at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun as well as those of New Jersey casinos. Moody’s warned that the financial performance of Mohegan Sun could suffer as a result of this increased competition.

In fact, Moody’s has placed a Negative Outlook for the gaming industry nationwide; its Senior Vice President, Keith Foley, wrote in a report dated June 30, 2014, “We now estimate that the total U.S. gaming revenues reported by state gaming authorities will decrease between 3.0% and 5.0% during the next 12 to 18 months, causing overall industry (earnings before interest and tax) to decline between 4.5% and 7.5%.” …

Tribal Disruption and Labor Relations

Source: Matthew L. M. Fletcher, Kathryn Fort, Wenona T. Singel, Michigan State University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-2, February 26, 2014

From the abstract:
In recent years, Indian tribes have begun to assert treaty rights to govern labor relations within the reservation, most notably in Indian gaming operations. The National Labor Relations Board and several national labor unions have asserted, with a large degree of success, that the National Labor Relations Act governs labor relations in tribal casinos.

This paper addresses several aspects of the tribal-federal-labor relationship through the lens of tribal disruption theory. Professor Wenona Singel has argued, drawing from institutional economics theory, that labor relations law and policy is static, with unions and the NLRB preferring to rely upon Great Depression-era federal law to decide labor disputes arising in Indian country – not because federal law is substantively preferable to tribal law, but because it is known and predictable. These actors reject tribal labor relations legal regimes despite the possibility that tribal law may be substantively preferable to all parties.

Tribal disruption theory offers an alternative view of how to resolve these ongoing labor disputes, one preferable to the uncertain and high stakes litigation.

State Lotteries

Source: Council of State Governments, Capitol Research, June 2013

In March 2013, Wyoming became the 44th state to legalize the operation of a state lottery. Lottery sales across all states totaled nearly $69 billion in 2012, with profits of more than $19 billion. Most states use at least some of that revenue to fund education and 17 states mandate that revenue be used exclusively for this purpose.

State Lotteries

Source: Elle Hull and Jennifer Burnett, Council of State Governments, June 2013

From the summary:
In March 2013, Wyoming became the 44th state to legalize the operation of a state lottery. Lottery sales across all states totaled nearly $69 billion in 2012, with profits of more than $19 billion. Most states use at least some of that revenue to fund education and 17 states mandate that revenue be used exclusively for this purpose.

– Forty-four states operate a state lottery, but how state lottery revenues are used varies across states.
– Lottery sales across all states totaled nearly $69 billion in 2012, with profits of more than $19 billion.
– For those states that do not currently have a state lottery, the issue is still debated regularly.
See also:
Excel Table: State Lotteries

Lotteries Provided Stable Funding Through Recession
Source: Elle Hull, Council of State Governments, E-newsletter Issue #117, June 20, 2013

History making ballot measures pass throughout country

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, The Thicket blog, November 7, 2012

Voters made history in dramatic fashion, passing groundbreaking measures to legalize marijuana use and approve same-sex marriage on a day when 174 ballot measures were considered by the electorates of 38 states. That was the most since 2006 when 204 measures were on ballots. In many states, ballots were quite long on Election Day, with voters in Alabama, California and Florida deciding on 11 statewide measures ranging from implementation of the Affordable Care Act to same-sex marriage. Of the 42 citizen initiatives on the ballot, voters approved 17. They rejected 23, and two remain too close to call at press time. In the 2000-2010 decade, voters approved 44.9% of all initiatives on the ballot. Of the 40 that are decided so far, 42.5% have been approved. That’s slightly below average and is subject to change as the results on these last two measures firm up.

State of the States: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment

Source: American Gaming Association, 2012

The AGA has released the 2012 State of the States survey, which provides national and state-by-state economic impact data, such as gaming revenues, tax contributions, and employment and wage figures for the 22 U.S. commercial casino states operating in 2011. A special section of the report showcases a poll of elected officials and civic leaders in gaming jurisdictions.
See also:
previous reports

Uncertain Benefits, Hidden Costs: The Perils of State-Sponsored Gambling

Source: ITEP, Policy Brief, October 2011

The recent fiscal downturn forced cash-strapped, tax-averse state lawmakers to seek unconventional revenue-raising alternatives, for additional revenue-raising opportunities outside of the income, sales and property taxes that form the backbone of most state tax systems. One of the most popular alternatives to those major revenue sources is state-sponsored gambling. As this policy brief points out, however, gambling revenues are rarely as lucrative, or as long-lasting, as supporters claim.