State Lotteries: Time to Take a Second Look

Pages: 3 (1076 words) Published: May 20, 2002
State Lotteries: Take a Second Look
From the time the Europeans first landed on the Atlantic shore, lotteries have been a part of the American society. According to Will Spink, most states are currently operating a state lottery despite its bleak history in the U.S. (Spink 1). Since 1983, North Carolina has introduced lottery bills in the legislature every year (NC Christian 15). North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley, favors a lottery for increasing revenues for education (Analysis 2). However lucrative state lotteries appear on the surface, they create even more moral and financial difficulties for citizens, and this should encourage states to look at other means of resources instead of legalized gambling.

In a lottery fact sheet provided by Governor Easley's office, North Carolinians spend $100 million on the Virginia lottery and $25 million on the Georgia lottery. Since at least one-half of the lottery money goes to prizes then North Carolina has fifty percent of this money returned. Lottery proponents still argue that $40.6 million is still leaving North Carolina (Analysis 2). "Three stores on U. S. 29 just over the state line in Danville accounted for almost $12 million worth of ticket sales," and more than ninety percent of the customers were most likely North Carolinians (Lottery referendum 3A).

Research does support that many taxpayers play the lottery and proponents may feel that this justifies the lottery. In addition, research shows that lottery participation reaches almost evenly across all income groups. However, a 1999 survey for the National Gambling Impact Study Commission showed " that low and moderate income lottery taxpayers spend more on the lottery than do middle income taxpayers" (Analysis 3,4). In addition, this study revealed that education levels do affect how much a person spends on the lottery. The biggest spenders were high school dropouts and as education levels increase, the amount of money spent decreases....
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