The wrong incentives

Dutch News reports that the Dutch government earned nearly a billion euros last year from online gambling.

I have a libertarian streak and question the efficacy of the state trying to regulate virtue and vice.

But, gambling addiction, drugs, alcohol, and the like ruin lives.

And even though the extra healthcare costs far outweigh the tax revenue from alcohol, the funds are counted on different spreadsheets, so it’s hard for any government to step back from that sort of income. This creates a perverse incentive for governments to not actually lower the social harms of these vices.

I don’t know what the answer is, but something feels off about this.