Someone in the news looks at the numbers

Often, folks in the media accept whatever number’s thrown at them when gambling’s concerned. If someone says a study claims that governments will make billions a year legalizing online gambling, it’s accepted without question.

But Josh McMahon of New Jersey News Room actually did some research when it comes to one net gaming proposal:

What I do object to, however, is the ballooning of expectations.Lesniak and others claim New Jersey can collect about $100 million a year from sports betting but their numbers don't add up.I can't follow his math. I challenged him on this last year but never heard from him. He didn't produce the numbers.Here's why I'm skeptical. Last year all 266 Nevada casinos “won” a total of $136.3 million from sports betting. That's what the casinos had after they paid off the winners.

via The over/under of Lesniak’s sports gambling plan | Commentary | — Your State. Your News..

It’s good to see people actually look at the numbers to see if they make sense.

One quibble–in the article, McMahon claims that Nevada casinos had $11.5 billion in gross gaming revenue “last year.” The actual total is $10.3 billion for 2009, and $11.6 billion for 2008. I don’t usually go out of my way to correct other people, but since we’re talking numbers and accuracy, I figure it’s fair play. Although to be fair to McMahon, the sports betting total for 2008 was also about $136 million, so it would be easy to confuse the two years.

Author: Dave

Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and author of several books, including Roll the Bones: The History of Gaming. Also Gaming and Hospitality editor for Vegas Seven magazine.

4 thoughts on “Someone in the news looks at the numbers”

  1. Heck. I can’t chime in here cuz, I don’t know a thing about sports betting. But I like guys like Josh who attempt to bring full truth into the picture.

  2. Oh wait. I got something slightly interesting. A good friend of mine from junior high was the guy who was the steroid guy who got in trouble a few years back. It’s too bad I can’t tell some very interesting things about his past. Quite an interesting behind the scenes story of a former high-school track star who set out to sell a hair-testing-kit to analyze vitamin deficiencies, and then figured out a way to create and market a secret formula for runners.

    Bob Costa and lots of others accused him of nearly ruining sports (and I agree). But then, I wondered if..sometime in the future, a Steroid Olympics might be the new rage…like extreme wrestling.

    Okay. That’s my one-cents worth. Don’t blame me for living in the same neighborhood as him or for being his friend way back then. His teen-age dream was to be a champion runner like Jim Thorpe.

    His subconscious desires eventually put him in the national sports news, but not exactly the way (he or) his friends expected.

    It’s funny how some dreams can actually come true, in ways people might not have considered. Sort of like a “be careful what you wish for” scenario. He got himself in the sports headlines alright. And also in Federal Prison.

  3. Yea, the NJ guys were way overblown when it came to estimates about sports betting. They took in a TOTAL of $55 million in revenues in DE, when NJ was estimating $100 million for the state in taxes? Do these people think we don’t know how to add and subtract.

    And the online gaming revenues are the same. One congressional body suggests it would create $40 billion in taxes over 10 years! Where does that money come from? What is the tax rate? Who collects the taxes? How do you split the taxes with the states? How can you even estimate when you don’t know these simple facts?

  4. >Do these people think we don’t know how to add and subtract.
    Yes! They issue those press releases and garner the favorable headlines on the theory that most of the readers will remember only the overly optimistic headlines. The people who author that press release don’t believe those figures, they just want you to believe them.

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