Is the Lottery a Bad Thing?


The lottery is a cultural phenomenon, operating in every continent except Antarctica, and enjoying a new-found popularity in the gambling realm. Legal in forty states, lotteries are viewed as a harmless form of entertainment and raise money for the public good instead of taxes. Opponents of lotteries generally base their objections on moral or religious grounds, and may even find state-sponsored lotteries repugnant. But is the lottery really such a bad thing?

Per capita lottery spending is highest for those aged forty-five to sixty-four years

The study also noted that lottery participation rates were higher among men than women. Those aged forty-five to sixty-four years spent the most per capita on lottery tickets. However, there were no differences in lottery participation rates by race. The highest lottery spending was seen in African-Americans, who spent more per capita than any other demographic. In addition, respondents without a high school diploma and those from low-income families spent more than other demographic groups.

Heaviest lottery players are those in the top 20% of lottery purchasers

According to recent studies, the heaviest lottery players are those with incomes over $75,000. But they do not necessarily fall in the lower income bracket. Some of the most prolific lottery players are those in the top 20 percent. While this group makes up a small portion of the total lottery players, they spend the most money on tickets. In fact, the top twenty percent of lottery purchasers account for more than seventy percent of all spending.

Problems facing the lottery industry

The state lotteries are a major problem for poor people because they rob them of their unemployment checks and income. In addition, many states use lottery revenue to fill budget gaps in important community and social areas. Although many politicians claim that the lottery helps the poor, in actuality, most of the money is spent on administration, advertising, and GTECH. In some cases, the government actually retains more money from the lottery than the winners do, which makes the system unsustainable and leads to corruption.

Polls show support for a lottery

The governor of Texas decided a long time ago to implement a lottery in his state. But he has waited to make the announcement because of opposition from state lawmakers. Other opponents include attorney general Mary Sue Terry, House Speaker A.L. Philpott, and former governors Charles S. Robb and Mills E. Godwin. But opponents were ecstatic. Although lottery opponents won an early poll, recent polls show that they are closing the gap.