Last week, the Houston Chronicle reported that just as government stimulus checks hit homes, Texas lottery sales skyrocketed. I imagine the same thing happened in other states too. That’s what’s known as not a coincidence.
It’s also what’s known as government double-speak: Claiming to help those struggling during these difficult times while tacitly endorsing a form of gambling that preys on the poor. It’s well-known that lotteries advertise more aggressively in poorer neighborhoods, luring those who can least afford it. And, of course, money spent on lottery tickets is sent straight back to state governments. That’s what’s known as robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The nonprofit group Stop Predatory Gambling sent a letter last week urging state officials to suspend lottery sales for 30 days after stimulus checks arrive. That’s what’s known as a good start. A better finish would be for state leaders to shut down lotteries for good.
Eric Dexheimer | Houston Chronicle | April 23, 2020
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