|The “slumping economy” and the dismal situation most of the states are in with their finances could “set off a fast-spreading wave of legalized gambling.”|
19 states are considering allowing video slot machines at racetracks and 12 states are looking into introducing or expanding casino gambling. Four more states are debating opening lotteries. And as always, Internet gambling is part of any gambling discussion.
Steve Rittvo, an industry consultant from New Orleans, said, “There's a new wave of expansion. Gaming provides a strong revenue source, and it's almost a voluntary tax.”
In the scramble to reduce state deficits and finance state programs, or to avoid cutting programs and the raising of taxes, competition for the money of gamblers is another factor between the states. If gambling is seen to bring in needed revenues in one state, and it is seen to do so, neighboring states feel the urgency to develop their own gambling attractions.
“Some states are seeking profit-sharing arrangements with Native American-owned casinos,” the report says.
Some form of legalized gambling exists in 47 of the 50 US states. No form of legalized gambling exists, as yet, in Utah, Hawaii, or Tennessee. In Tennessee a state lottery to fund education is soon likely.