The Ten States That Profit Most From Sin

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As state budgets strain under huge debt loads, they are counting increasingly on "sin taxes," one of the few reliable sources of revenue in these uncertain economic times.

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States have profited from the public's voracious appetite for easy money (gambling), nicotine (smoking) and booze (alcohol) for years. Some are more successful at it than others. A few states generate less than 1% of their revenue from preying on their residents' vices while sin accounts for between 5% and nearly 13% of the budgets of others. Some of the difference can be chalked up to varying rates of addiction, but aggressive tax policy also plays a part. Pennsylvania makes the greatest percent of its revenue from gaming taxes of any state. It charges a 55% tax on slot machine proceeds. Conversely, Las Vegas collects only 8%.

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