Well isn’t this funny.Â All those pious right wingers and South Dakota leads in being a state that profits from sin. Can they say hypocrites???
States have profited from the public’s voracious appetite for easy money (gambling), nicotine (smoking) and booze (alcohol) for years. Some are more successful at it than others. A few states generate less than 1% of their revenue from preying on their residents’ vices while sin accounts for between 5% and nearly 13% of the budgets of others. Some of the difference can be chalked up to varying rates of addiction, but aggressive tax policy also plays a part. Pennsylvania makes the greatest percent of its revenue from gaming taxes of any state. It charges a 55% tax on slot machine proceeds. Conversely, Las Vegas collects only 8%.
Revenue From Sin: $212 Million (11th Lowest)
Total State Revenue: $3.8 Billion (The Lowest)
Percent Total Revenue From Sin: 5.63%
The National Association of State Budget Officers estimates that South Dakota collected less revenue than any state last year. That is why the state’s $212 million collected from “sin” is the fifth biggest percentage of government income in the country. The state collects the 19th most in gaming taxes in the U.S., although this is primarily because 29 states do not collect taxes on their casinos at all. The state’s biggest source of sin-based income is the South Dakota Lottery, which generated roughly $117 million in revenue last year. The state’s cigarette tax is $1.53 per pack, roughly triple that of North Dakota. The state’s alcohol taxes are also higher than most, at 27 cents per gallon of beer. According to the South Dakota newspaper The Capitol Journal, the state’s revenues from video lotteries actually dropped as much as 15% last year, possibly because of a smoking ban in casinos and bars which was enacted in November.