IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Impact of State Lotteries and Casinos on State Bankruptcy Filings


  • Kent Grote

    () (Department of Economics and Business, Lake Forest College)

  • Victor Matheson

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)


Over the past half century, there has been an increasing prevalence of legalized gambling in the US. At the same time there is a general recognition, empirically supported in the economics literature, that spending on lottery and gaming products tends to be regressive in nature. In addition, gambling addiction is a widely acknowledged social problem. This raises the question of whether the increased presence of casinos and state lotteries results in relatively more bankruptcy filings in the states that offer them. This paper adds to the existing literature by comparing the relative impact of the presence of lotteries to that of casinos on both personal and business bankruptcies. States that adopted lotteries and casinos prior to 1995 experienced significantly higher personal bankruptcy rates while the effect of lottery and casino adoption on personal bankruptcies has disappeared since that time.

Suggested Citation

  • Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2013. "The Impact of State Lotteries and Casinos on State Bankruptcy Filings," Working Papers 1302, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:1302

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Garrett, Thomas A. & Coughlin, Cletus C., 2009. "Inter–Temporal Differences in the Income Elasticity of Demand for Lottery Tickets," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(1), pages 77-99, March.
    2. Ernie Goss & Edward Morse & John Deskins, 2009. "Have Casinos Contributed to Rising Bankruptcy Rates?," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 15(4), pages 456-469, November.
    3. Richard Thalheimer & Mukhtar M. Ali, 2004. "The Relationship of Pari-mutuel Wagering and Casino Gaming to Personal Bankruptcy," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(3), pages 420-432, July.
    4. Farrell, Lisa & Morgenroth, Edgar & Walker, Ian, 1999. " A Time Series Analysis of U.K. Lottery Sales: Long and Short Run Price Elasticities," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 513-526, November.
    5. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2007. "Examining the 'Halo Effect' in lotto games," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 307-310.
    6. Nichols, Mark W. & Grant Stitt, B. & Giacopassi, David, 2000. "Casino gambling and bankruptcy in new United States casino jurisdictions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 247-261, May.
    7. repec:kap:iaecre:v:15:y:2009:i:4:p:456-469 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:9:1369-1376_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Robert Baumann & Victor A. Matheson, 2013. "Estimating economic impact using ex post econometric analysis: cautionary tales," Chapters,in: The Econometrics of Sport, chapter 10, pages 169-188 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Boardman, Barry & Perry, John J., 2007. "Access to gambling and declaring personal bankruptcy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 789-801, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Amir Borges Ferreira Neto & Collin D. Hodges & Hyunwoong Pyun, 2016. "Voting Dynamics and the Birth of State-owned Casinos in Kansas," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 329-336.
    2. Barry Scholnick & Hyungsuk Byun, 2016. "Do Slot Machines Cause Bankruptcy? A Regulatory Natural Experiment with Exogenous Changes to Slot Locations," ERSA conference papers ersa16p607, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Byun, Hyungsuk & Scholnick, Barry & Byun, Hyungsuk, 2017. "Spatial Commitment Devices and Addictive Goods: Evidence from the Removal of Slot Machines from Bars," Working Papers 17-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

    More about this item


    lotto; lottery; public finance; gambling;

    JEL classification:

    • K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:1302. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.