ProPublica Illinois has produced some good reporting on video gambling in Illinois, in a report The Bad Bet: How Illinois Best on Video Gambling and Lost.
It shows how lobbyists wrote the law (A common occurance in Illinois & many other states) and how the law isn’t living up to its promise in helping the state budget (not counting social costs etc).
ProPublica Illinois has put out an explainer of how they analyzed data for the story. When you read this, you will realize that even in a small newsroom, you could probably do something like this. You need to think in advance on the approach. Here is a good lesson in reporting in How We Analyzed Video Gambling In Illinois. They promise to add more to this methodology as they continue with their series.
Even if you are unable to take a project of this magnitude on, you will see they used references that are available to the public and which could provide you with the nugget you need for your own local follow-up.