Using spatial distribution of outlets to estimate gambling incidence

Momi Dahan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The paper proposes a simple and innovative methodology for measuring the incidence of gambling expenditure in countries for which household survey data is unavailable or unreliable. A first application of this methodology is presented by merging data on the geographical location of gambling outlets, together with residents’ socioeconomic and demographic characteristics around that location across all of the 1,600 statistical areas in Israel. It was found that the Israel National Lottery (Lotto) and sports-betting Toto lottery tend to set up significantly more sales points in disadvantaged neighborhoods, after controlling for a standard list of factors such as population size and composition. The Suits Index is calculated based on the spatial estimation results and yields a measure of-0.42, which implies that the implicit tax associated with gambling is highly regressive.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalIsrael Economic Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Bank of Israel. All rights reserved.


  • Gambling
  • Incidence
  • Location policy


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