The regulation of gaming, tobacco and alcohol is challenged by new realities. First, fewer people are convinced that government regulation of these indulgences is consistent with a rights-based society. Second, while provincial budgets have continued to climb, the revenues drawn from “sin taxes” (excise taxes from tobacco and alcohol and revenues from gambling) have declined as a proportion of total revenues. As a result, these taxes will not cover the important social and health care costs triggered by the new permissiveness. This study contributes to budget theory by examining the changing policy landscape and sheds light on how Canadian provinces in particular have attempted to balance individual rights, social oversight and provincial revenues. It concludes by speculating on other addictive products that could soon be framed as worthy of taxation.

dx.doi.org/10.1111/capa.12337
Canadian Public Administration
School of Public Policy and Administration

Bird, M.G. (Malcolm G.), Dutil, P. (Patrice), & Stoney, C. (2019). Taxing the tempted: Personal addictions, sustainable revenues and the public good. Canadian Public Administration. doi:10.1111/capa.12337