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States should have realistic expectations of sports betting as revenue stream, researcher says

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

LAWRENCE — Even though the Supreme Court has cleared the way for states to legalize sports gambling, state and local policymakers should use caution before counting on sports betting as a new major revenue stream, according to a University of Kansas researcher of public finance.

Monday's Supreme Court decision struck down a 1992 federal law that had prohibited most states from authorizing sports betting. New Jersey and many other states have considered allowing sports gambling as a way to encourage tourism and hopefully boost tax revenue, while professional sports leagues and the NCAA had backed the federal prohibition.

Jacob Fowles, associate professor in the KU School of Public Affairs & Administration, is available to discuss the decision's implications for policymakers across the nation. Fowles teaches graduate courses on public finance and policy analysis. His broad research interests involve the application of organizational theories developed in public administration, economics and political science to the study of education finance and policy.

"While state and local governments are often excited about new and emerging revenue streams, it is important to keep these in a broader context and have realistic expectations about the amount of new tax revenue that will be created relative to other sources," Fowles said. "Often, governments have unrealistic expectations about tax yields that do not fully materialize, leading to disappointment as governments compete for inherently mobile tax bases."

To arrange an interview with Fowles, contact George Diepenbrock at 785-864-8853 or gdiepenbrock@ku.edu.


Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration
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