Slot Revenue Keeps Going Down, but Budget Never Does
Looks like the slot-machine revenue panacea isn’t working out too well.
For the first time since video-slot machines were introduced in 1993, both Lincoln Park and Newport Grand are taking in substantially less money than they did the year before.
This could have dramatic consequences for the state, which is already struggling with a $105.1-million shortfall this year and a potential $254-million deficit next year. The state gets about 60 percent of every dollar gamblers lose at the two slot parlors. Only the sales and personal income taxes bring in more revenue.
Apparently, Senate President Montalbano realizes it’s time to look elswhere for budget relief:
“We’re always looking for new revenue by way of economic development. But I don’t think it’s anybody’s agenda to expand gambling in Rhode Island,” Montalbano said. “The less we rely on it, the better it is for us. But it’s a fact of being able to fund all of the programs we need to fund. It is our third-largest source [of income] right now.”
I suppose we could try to solve the problem by finding a way to raise more “revenue.” But how come no one talks about reducing the the need for more money…you know, budget cuts?