Welfare for Penguins

Governor Rendell has offered the Pittsburgh Penguins enough of a ransom to keep them in Pittsburgh. The Post-Gazette reports that the state will pay $7.5 million each year from taxes on gambling losses to finance a new stadium, while the Penguins will pay $3.8 million per year.

The Patriot News quotes Governor Rendell as saying, “”Without expanded gaming, the Penguins would be gone.” Why are state gambling taxes paying more for a hockey arena than the hockey team that uses it, even though studies show sports stadiums have little “spill-over effect” in terms of economic development? Apparently, gambling is just a lot more profitable than hockey–and gets better TV ratings.