Jan 2, 2019

Taxing sin industries isn't the solution to state budget shortfalls

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The sin industry may be shining during a renewed period of government leniency, but don't expect legal weed and sports gambling to emerge as major revenue sources for cash-starved states.

The big picture: "The expected stampede of states seeking to legalize [sports gambling] has parallels to the growing trend toward legalizing recreational marijuana, which 10 states have done and others are considering," AP notes.

  • "In Nevada, revenue from sports betting has accounted for roughly one half of 1 percent of the entire state budget."
  • In New Jersey, the gaming industry took "$928 million worth of sports bets. ... The state received less than $8 million in tax revenue."
  • "Even Rhode Island, which has the highest sports betting tax rate at 51 percent, estimates it will take in $23.5 million a year, or a quarter of 1 percent of the state’s budget."
  • Legal weed in Colorado and Washington provides 2% and 1% of state revenue, respectively, AP notes.

The bottom line: "Baye Larsen, who analyzes state finances at Moody’s, expects sports betting to account for a 'very, very small slice' of state revenue and will do little if anything to help cover their rising pension, Medicaid, education or infrastructure needs."

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Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: Unrest continues for 6th night across U.S.

A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external lights at the White House were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators in the United States over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep Lago/AFP, Alfredo Estrella/AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 6,181,781 — Total deaths: 372,136— Total recoveries — 2,646,874Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 1,790,191 — Total deaths: 104,383— Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Black Americans' competing crisesCoronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. 2020: AIPAC conference in March 2021 canceled.
  5. Economy: What U.S. workplaces may look like next — Both part of America's unfinished businessFuture of mobility in post-pandemic world.
  6. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO — White House sends 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil, 1,000 ventilators to come.

Your guide to comparing climate change and coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Climate change and the coronavirus have a lot more in common than the letter C, but their differences explain society’s divergent responses to each.

Why it matters: The Internet is full of comparisons, some from biased perspectives. I'm going to try to cut through the noise to help discerning readers looking for objective information.