Gene Lohrke

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The pari-mutuel racing industry in South Dakota adds employment, income, and tax revenue to the state’s general economy. The tax is paid largely by non-residents, and the tax revenue depends almost entirely on the amount of wagering. The pari-mutuel tax thus agrees with Adam Smith’s third canon of taxation which deals with convenience of payment. The first objective of this study is to show the number of dollars added to the South Dakota economy from wagering and non-wagering expenditures of non-residents in connection with their trips to South Dakota pari-mutuel race tracks, and to compare these expenditures with other types of tourist expenditures. The second objective is to show the impact, the incidence, and the amount of the pari-mutuel tax; the amount of tax paid by non-residents; and to estimate the potential tax revenue from present and alternative pari-mutuel tax rates. This study found that the number of residents attending pari-mutuel racing in South Dakota was much less than the number of non-residents attending such races. It was also found that the pari-mutuel tax was a regressive type of tax, and it therefore violates the ability to pay the principle of taxation. Information was presented showing that in 1962, South Dakota received more revenue form the pari-mutuel tax than it did from either liquor and wine stamp taxes, or for butter substitute stamp taxes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wagers -- Taxation -- South Dakota
Tourism -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages