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Gambling on an Alternative Revenue Source: The Impact of Riverboat Gambling on the Charitable Gambling Component of Nonprofit Finances

Journal Title Nonprofit Management and Leadership
Published Date September 22, 2006
Research Type
Authors Jim Landers


This article examines the impact of casino gambling in and around Illinois on charitable gambling in that state. The research targets the impact of casino gambling on one of the vital revenue sources of many nonprofit organizations. Charitable gambling represents the most widespread form of legalized gambling in the United States. Net income from charitable gambling totaled an estimated $1.3 billion in 1997. Despite its apparent importance in providing an alternative revenue stream to nonprofit organizations, in a growing number of states charitable gambling operations must compete with an increasing number of private for-profit gambling enterprises, including riverboat and land-based casinos, Indian gambling operations, and pari-mutuel wagering venues. As a result, there is interest in the extent to which forprofit gambling is crowding out charitable gambling—and in the process reducing funds (such as receipts from gambling operations) available to nonprofit organizations. The data analysis presented in this article suggests that spending on casino gambling in Illinois and in bordering areas of Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri may be displacing consumer expenditures on charitable gambling.

Dolan, D.A. and Landers, J. (2006), Gambling on an alternative revenue source: The impact of riverboat gambling on the charitable gambling component of nonprofit finances. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 17: 5-24.