Commentary

Senate leaders reverse course and bet on more lottery advertising

lotteryWhat a difference a year makes. Last session the state House passed a budget that relied on increased lottery advertising to raise money for a pay raise for teachers.

Senate leaders rightly panned the idea that soon fell apart after news that lottery officials had told House leaders that their revenue projections were unrealistic before the House budget passed.

But now it seems Senate leaders have reconsidered their opposition to increasing lottery advertising to raise more money from people at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Mark Binker with WRAL reports that two of the numerous policy provisions stuffed into the massive 504-page Senate budget would allow lottery officials to increase their advertising budget and authorize an online state lottery game, which is the last thing we need.

The two provisions combined are projected to raise more than $50 million a year, much of it from the poorest areas in North Carolina from families who can least afford to play.

The Senate was right last year. Raising money from the predatory lottery to pay for state investments was wrong.

nc-lotteryIt still is. We need an honest, fair, stable, and adequate revenue system, not one that increasingly relies on convincing vulnerable people to throw their money way on a one in a 100 million chance of striking it rich.

3 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    June 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    So you are advocating that we all throw our dollars down the government toilet, not just the ones who are stupid enough to do so. The main benefit of the scheme I see is that those who are vulnerable and don’t pay their fair share in the first place learn what it is like to pay taxes and not get much in return. Wait, at least they have a slim chance of getting something in return so they are actually better off than Joe Taxpayer.

  2. Laurie

    June 17, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    LITM, let’s face it. Lottery is gambling.

    So (2) things. Either you are religious (we have plenty of those representing us these days) and advocate against it.

    Or rich and hope the poor invest that dollar at poor odds instead of investing in society as a whole.

    Not much middle ground there. It is a “Poor Man’s” game with rich man’s rewards. And extremely not well done overall.

    They should actually bring back the slot machines if this is what they think is acceptable “tax.”

  3. Bryan Kelleher

    June 18, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Calling it a “predatory lottery” is simply moralizing by rich or upper-middle-class writers from their Herman Miller Aeron chairs, holding jobs that offer security, healthcare and 401(k)s.

    All this tut-tutting is done while ignoring their own $200 spend on a bottle of wine, which, studies confirm, they can’t distinguish from a $20 bottle. And is it really necessary to mention the economic frivolity of McMansions, Mont Blanc, Mercedes, and Marc Jacobs?

    Come on, one man’s gratuitous expenditure is another man’s night at the opera.

    Some folks escape their everyday lives in a movie theater seat. Others do so while scratching off the UV ink coating on a Million Money Mania ticket.

    Is one form of escape superior to another?

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