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Casinos' tax contributions extend beyond Super Bowl wagers

Placed your Super Bowl bets yet? What's the over-under on how many times Harbowl will be mentioned?

Most of the legal sports betting this weekend will take place in Nevada. All the casinos in the Silver State have sportsbooks eager to take your money.


But betting on who's going to win what game is only part of the action at casinos. They do a whale of a business year round with their other game of chance offerings.

And that means they also pay plenty of taxes.

In the 22 states with commercial casinos in operation in 2011, casinos contributed $7.93 billion in tax revenue to state and local governments, according to the American Gaming Association, which collected data for that year from the various state gaming regulatory agencies. That was a 4.5 percent increase over 2010 figures.

Nevada casinos paid the most taxes: $865.25 million. No surprise there.

But I bet you can't guess which state came in second that year.

C'mon, try.

Nope, not New Jersey. the Garden State reported only $277.6 million in commercial casino tax revenue two years ago.

Yeah, Louisiana did pay $573.19 million in taxes in 2011, just behind new York's $593.4 million. But that wasn't the second biggest tax bill.

OK. I'll spill.

It was Indiana's casino tax payments totaling $846.37 million.

Who knew those crazy Hoosiers were such risk takers?

I do know that the state and its residents are glad for the added tax money.

And looking at the totals of tax revenue from commercial casinos, I wonder yet again why the Texas legislature won't let us Lone Star State residents take our chances within our own borders instead of making us head to casinos in neighboring Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Taxes on gamblers' winnings: If your Super Bowl bets pay off, don't forget that you'll owe Uncle Sam, and your state tax collector, a share of your winnings.

This reminder that Super Bowl -- and all other -- winning wagers are taxable income is today's Daily Tax Tip.

So bet wisely and be sure to set aside a portion for taxes.

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