No matter how tough the economy is, sin is always a lucrative business.
Nowhere is this more prevalent in Arizona than in the casino industry, as for the seventh consecutive quarter the state's 22 tribal casinos contributed an increased share of all that money we drop into slots, at the blackjack table and on ridiculously overpriced drinks.
All told, the casinos gave $24.3 million to what's known as the Arizona Benefits Fund for the quarter that ended on March 31, an increase of 7.4 from the same quarter in 2012. That figure represents roughly one to eight percent of the Class III gaming revenue that casinos take in as part of the state's gaming compact.
Exact amounts that each casino contributed are never revealed.
More than half the $24.3 million is earmarked for state educational funding — which, based on recent Brewer-approved budgets means us gamblers pretty much fund schools more than all other taxpayers combined — while only $485,000 goes toward programs meant to help those who gamble too much. Guessing that if more money went towards those programs it would likely mean the overall amount earned by the state would drop, kind of a Catch-22.