States lose money as gamblers stop wagering

States that used to collect a pretty penny from gambling are watching their already-squeezed budgets take another hit as people decide that rolling the dice with their money might not be a great idea in this economy.

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, eight of the 12 states that allow casino gambling saw gambling-related revenues fall in 2008.

In Nevada, a state that built its reputation on glitzy casinos, gambling-tax revenue dropped by 15%. That's no small potatoes for the home of Sin City; roughly a third of the state's general fund (the big pool of money that is used to create the annual budget) came from gambling.

States that permit lotteries also are seeing a falloff, with the Journal reporting that 14 out of 20 state lotteries brought in less money this year than the year before.