RIPEC’s Casino Analysis

The Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council has released their analysis of the impact of a Harrah’s casino in Rhode Island (pdf format). Here’s the key result from their executive summary…

While the introduction of a Harrah?s Commercial Casino would increase overall gaming activity statewide by 27.0% by FY 2020, The State would experience a 17.3% decline ($1.1 billion) in net tax revenue.
  • If the casino were not built, gaming activity over the ten year period is estimated at $10.3 billion, and the State would collect $6.3 billion in taxes.
  • If a casino is approved and operational by FY 2010, gaming activity over the ten year period would total $13.0 billion, but the State would collect $5.2 billion in net taxes.
Bottom line of the RIPEC analysis: To compensate for the revenue that the state loses because of Harrah’s, the constitutionally mandated “property tax relief” will have to be more-than-offset by either other tax increases or spending cuts, and there can be no net tax relief for Rhode Island without major spending cuts.
RIPEC is not the final word on the matter, but they’ve laid out their argument in detail. If you don’t like their conclusion, try to explain which of their assumptions are unreasonable.

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17 years ago

Compound RIPEC’s findings with the simple truth that the only way to lower taxes is to reduce spending.
In fact, it doesn’t matter how much tax revenue a casino generates. Our Dem legislators and city/town councils will spend all of it and be looking around for more.
Is there a twelve step program to treat an addiction to tax money?

Marc Comtois
17 years ago

I agree and have often said that those who are most addicted to gambling are the legislators who can’t wait to spend the revenue it generates.

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