Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 313–330 | Cite as

Lotteries in the state fiscal system

  • John L. Mikesell


Lotteries give states direct revenue from the commercial gambling market. Thirty-two states plus the District of Columbia, encompassing almost three-quarters of the population, operate games, a dramatic spread since the first modern lottery in New Hampshire (1964). These lotteries typically make only a small contribution to state finances, yield revenue that is subject to dramatic annual changes, are expensive to administer, and place relatively greater burdens on low income than on high income individuals. Proceeds are often dedicated to particular functions, but whether lottery proceeds do more than simply substitute for funds that the function would otherwise receive is doubtful. The fiscal limitations of lotteries have not dimmed the public popularity of the games.


High Income Small Contribution Annual Change Income Individual Great Burden 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Borg, M.O. & Mason, P.M. (1988). The budgetary incidence of a lottery to support education.National Tax Journal, 41, 75–86.Google Scholar
  2. Brinner, R.E. & Clotfelter, C.T. (1975). “An Economic Appraisal of State Lotteries,”National Tax Journal, pp. 395–404.Google Scholar
  3. Christiansen, E.M. (1989, July 15). 1988 U.S. gross annual wagers,Gaming and Wagering Business, 8–22.Google Scholar
  4. Clotfelter, C.T. (1979). On the regressivity of state-operated ‘numbers’ games,National Tax Journal, 543–548.Google Scholar
  5. Clotfelter, C.T. & Cook, P.J. (1989).Selling hope. Cambridge; Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Clotfelter, C.T. & Cook, P.J. (1987). Implicit Taxation in Lottery Finance,National Tax Journal, 40, 533–546.Google Scholar
  7. Heavey, J.F. (1978). The incidence of state lottery taxes.Public Finance Quarterly, 6, 415–416.Google Scholar
  8. Koza, J.R. (1982). The myth of the poor buying lottery tickets.Public Gaming, 10, 31.-40.Google Scholar
  9. La Fleur, T. (1990, March 15–April 14) A North American lottery performance, significantly slower growth forces tight lid on ad expenses.Gaming and Wagering Business, 11, 37–41.Google Scholar
  10. Langer, E.J. (1975). The illusion of control.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 311–328.Google Scholar
  11. Livernois, J. (1987). The redistributional effects of lotteries: Evidence from Canada,Public Finance Quarterly, 14, 339–351.Google Scholar
  12. Mikesell, J.L. & Zorn, C.K. (1988) State lotteries for public revenue.Public Budgeting and Finance, 8, 38–47.Google Scholar
  13. Mikesell, J.L. & Zorn, C.K. (1987). State lottery sales: Separating the influence of markets and game structure.Growth and Change,18.Google Scholar
  14. Mikesell, J.L. & Zorn, C.K. (1986). State lotteries as fiscal savior or fiscal fraud: A look at the evidence.Public Administration Review, 46, 311–320.Google Scholar
  15. Mote, R. (1984). Questions and Answers About a State Lottery. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs,State Lotteries: An Overview. 98th Congress, 2d Session, October 3.Google Scholar
  16. Spiro, M.H. (1974). On the incidence of the Pennsylvania lottery.National Tax Journal, 26, 57–61.Google Scholar
  17. Stacker, F.D. (1972). State sponsored gambling as a source of public revenue.National Tax Journal, 25, 437–441.Google Scholar
  18. Suits, D.B. (1977). Gambling taxes: Regressivity and revenue potential.National Tax Journal, 30, 19–35.Google Scholar
  19. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1990).Government finances in 1987–88, GF-88-5, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  20. U.S. lottery sales, calendar'89 (1990, February 15–March 14)Gaming and Wagering Business,11, page 30.Google Scholar
  21. Vaillancourt, F. & Grignon, J. (1988). Canadian lotteries as taxes: Revenues and incidence.Canadian Tax Journal, 36, 369–388.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John L. Mikesell
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor of Public and Environmental AffairsIndiana UniversityBloomington

Personalised recommendations