Special Report

States Spending the Most and Least on Gambling

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35. California
> Annual lottery and casino spending: $241 per adult ($7.4 billion total)
> Annual casino spending: $0
> Annual lottery spending: $241 per adult ($7.4 billion total)
> State tax revenue from casinos: $0

Casinos in California house a total of 75,369 gaming machines, more than in every other state except Nevada. Spread over 77 tribal casinos, none of those gaming machines, however, are located in a commercial casino, so spendings on those were not included.

In November 1983, voters in California passed a proposition legalizing a state lottery. The proceeds from lottery ticket sales are used to fund the state’s public school system. Lottery ticket sales in the state totalled $7.4 billion in 2019, more than in every other state except New York. However, per capita annual lottery ticket sales comes out to just $241, less than in 27 states.

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34. Vermont
> Annual lottery and casino spending: $273 per adult ($139.3 million total)
> Annual casino spending: $0
> Annual lottery spending: $273 per adult ($139.3 million total)
> State tax revenue from casinos: $0

There are no casinos in Vermont — commercial or tribal. State residents are permitted to participate in raffles, bingo, or casino nights for a charitable cause. Social poker played in private residences is also permitted in Vermont.

Vermont also has a state lottery system that allows instant games, like scratch off tickets. The lottery was legalized in 1976, and the first ticket was sold in 1978. Vermonters bought $139.3 million in lottery tickets in 2019, or $273 per adult.

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33. Texas
> Annual lottery and casino spending: $274 per adult ($5.9 billion total)
> Annual casino spending: $0
> Annual lottery spending: $274 per adult ($5.9 billion total)
> State tax revenue from casinos: $0

There were a total of two tribal casinos in all of Texas in 2019, housing 3,765 gaming machines. Commercial casinos are not permitted in the Lone Star State.

In November 1991, voters in Texas approved of a state lottery, and the first ticket was sold in May of the following year. Lottery ticket sales in Texas totalled $5.9 billion in 2019, more than in nearly every other state except New York, California, and Florida. However, per capita annual lottery ticket sales comes out to just $274 in Texas, less than in 22 other states.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

32. Tennessee
> Annual lottery and casino spending: $289 per adult ($1.5 billion total)
> Annual casino spending: $0
> Annual lottery spending: $289 per adult ($1.5 billion total)
> State tax revenue from casinos: $0

There are no casinos in Tennessee, either tribal or commercial. The state’s restrictive gambling laws also prohibit bingo games. Voters in the state did, however, pass an amendment that legalized a state lottery in 2002. In 2019, adults in Tennessee spent $1.5 billion on lottery tickets, or about $289 for every adult state resident.

Online sports betting is also legal in Tennessee. The state also requires sportsbook operators to base outcomes on official data purchased from the sports league of other authorized data providers.

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31. Kansas
> Annual lottery and casino spending: $302 per adult ($669.2 million total)
> Annual casino spending: $188 per adult ($416.2 million total)
> Annual lottery spending: $114 per adult ($253.1 million total)
> State tax revenue from casinos: $112.4 million (1.1% of all tax revenue)

There were a total of six tribal casinos and four commercial casinos operating in Kansas in 2019. The commercial casinos are subject to a minimum 27% on tax on revenue — 22% to the state, 3% to local governments, and 2% for gambling addiction treatment — but the tribal casinos are not. Commercial casinos in the state reported revenue of $416.2 million in 2019, an all-time record.

Kansas residents are also permitted to purchase lottery tickets. Adults purchased $253.1 million in lottery tickets in 2019. Total spending in the state on both lottery tickets and commercial casinos totalled $669.2 million in 2019, or $302 for every adult resident.