Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kentucky Lottery celebrates 20-year history of addicting citizens

The Courier-Journal ran stories this week celebrating the Lottery's 20th anniversary. These promotional announcements from the Lottery Commission are just poory veiled attempts at boosting predatory gambling's image in the quest to bring slot machine barns to Kentucky.

What caught my attention in the article and should arrest the attention of policy makers and citizens alike was the poster child for the Lottery that the paper interviewed:
"Charles Conley had stopped at the store on the way to his construction job. He said he has been playing the lottery 'since day one.' He said he usually spends $20 to $25 in the morning on lottery tickets and the same amount in the evening.

"I usually break even," Conley said, adding that he wishes he didn't spend so much money on tickets. "I'm trying to cut back, but I keep playing because of the possibility of winning thousands of dollars."
$50 a day, 5 days a week = $13,000 annually
$13,000 annually for 20 years = $260,000

The sad part is that this Kentucky construction worker is trying to "cut back" but is convinced by the Lottery Board's ad campaign that he can win thousands.

When legislators convene a Special Session this summer, they must consider whether expanding the Lottery Board's power to addict citizens to slot machines and bankrupt them in a recession is public policy that they can be proud of.

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