Oregon among nation’s top states ‘profiting from sin’

By Observer staff August 20, 2013 09:32 am

The state of Oregon ranks 10th among U.S. states for revenue received from drinking, smoking and gambling, according to a study by the website 24/7 Wall St.

According to the website, the study used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Gaming Association to figure out the percentage of each state’s revenue that came from alcohol, tobacco and casino taxes as well as the lottery and state-regulated liquor stores.

Oregon had an estimated $34 billion in revenue and of that total, $1.5 billion, or 3 percent, came from those sources.

The lottery was Oregon’s most profitable “sin,” according to the study. In 2011, 1.59 percent of Oregon’s revenue came from lottery ticket sales, which was the sixth highest percentage in the nation. 

The study also reported that Oregon’s revenue from state-controlled liquor stores was about $438 million in 2011, eighth-highest in the country. Its revenue from alcoholic beverage taxes, however, was comparatively low, at just $16 million, 44th relative to other states. The state’s beer excise tax as of Jan. 2013 was just eight cents to the gallon, tied for fourth lowest in the country. 

Nevada ranked first in the study, with 5.8 percent of its revenue coming from "sin."

The rankings

In 2011, state governments collected more than $50 billion in taxes and proceeds from vice: gambling, smoking and alcohol consumption. Based on data from the Census Bureau and the American Gaming Association, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where the largest percentage of revenue came in the form of proceeds from alcohol, tobacco and casino taxes, as well as the lottery and state-regulated liquor stores. These are the states profiting most from sin: 

10. Oregon

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 3 percent

• Most profitable sin: Lottery

• Revenue from sin: $1,552,600,000

• Total state revenue: $34,797,285,000

9. South Dakota

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 3.3 percent

• Most profitable sin: Casinos

• Revenue from sin: $204,293,000

• Total state revenue: $6,017,179,000

8. Michigan

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 3.6 percent

• Most profitable sin: Casinos 

• Revenue from sin: $2,292,118,000

• Total state revenue: $64,429,901,000

7. Pennsylvania

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 3.7 percent

• Most profitable sin: Casinos

• Revenue from sin: $3,849,764,000

• Total state revenue: $91,705,305,000

6. Indiana

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 4 percent

• Most profitable sin: Casinos

• Revenue from sin: $1,552,600,000

• Total state revenue: $38,894,976,000

5. New Hampshire

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 4.6 percent

• Most profitable sin: Tobacco

• Revenue from sin: $393,209,000

• Total state revenue: $8,542,308,000

4. West Virginia

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 4.7 percent

• Most profitable sin: Lottery

• Revenue from sin: $729,451,000

• Total state revenue: $15,397,630,000

3. Delaware

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 5 percent

• Most profitable sin:Lottery

• Revenue from sin: $472,054,000

• Total state revenue: $9,349,728,000

2. Rhode Island

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 5.4 percent

• Most profitable sin: Lottery

• Revenue from sin: $505,305,000

• Total state revenue: $9,388,083,000

1. Nevada

• Pct. total revenue from sin: 5.8 percent

• Most profitable sin: Casinos

• Revenue from sin: $1,013,568,000

• Total state revenue: $17,597,124,000