State Lotteries & Selective Morality about Gambling

by on August 26, 2007 · 4 comments

We’ve done a lot of writing about Internet gambling issues here at the TLF over the years. (Complete archives here). One of the things that always intrigues me about these debates is how passionate some policymakers can get about the supposed “evils” of private online gambling even though many of them support state-run lotteries.

What got me thinking about this again was an article in Sunday’s Washington Post entitled, “Officials Laud D.C. Lottery as Success.” The D.C. Lottery turns 25 this week and, in the article, one local lawmaker after another celebrates the fact that more than $1.4 billion has been generated by the lottery for the city treasury. “Every time you buy a lottery ticket, the city wins,” says the current DC Lottery director. And former DC mayor Marion Barry, who currently serves as a DC council member, argues that, “Nobody makes anybody play the lottery… It’s a voluntary contribution to the D.C. treasury. It was a great vision.”

OK, so what’s wrong with people playing for their own enjoyment? Nobody makes anyone play private games of chance either. But because the money goes to private interests instead of the State, apparently it’s immoral and “evil.” Stupid.

  • http://www2.blogger.com/profile/14380731108416527657 Steve R.

    Adam: As you know, in many cases, I don’t have an issue with government competing with private enterprise. However, on the issue of State lotteries I am opposed (yes opposed) to government sponsored lotteries. Gambling is an activity that belongs in the private sector.

    I also don’t have an issue with private internet gambling, provided it is honestly operated. So I don’t want to see government regulations prohibiting it. Realistically, any attempt by the a government to prohibit internet gambling is an exercise in futility.

  • http://www2.blogger.com/profile/14380731108416527657 Steve R.

    Adam: As you know, in many cases, I don’t have an issue with government competing with private enterprise. However, on the issue of State lotteries I am opposed (yes opposed) to government sponsored lotteries. Gambling is an activity that belongs in the private sector.

    I also don’t have an issue with private internet gambling, provided it is honestly operated. So I don’t want to see government regulations prohibiting it. Realistically, any attempt by the a government to prohibit internet gambling is an exercise in futility.

  • http://www.lucky-bonus.com/ Dalam

    Thats also my sight of things!

  • http://www.bingotime.co.uk online bingo

    policymakers supports lottery since they can regulate it and earn money from it for the state, and most probably them too while with internet gambling it will be too hard for them since they can't follow their every move online or it would be hard for them to get money like taxes from them.. just my opinion

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