State Lotteries at the turn of the century, a report by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, shows how lotteries tended to be used as a form of slave-giving and property-giving. But now these games are popular with lower-income individuals and are subject to pressure to raise their revenue. As we’ve seen, lotteries are addictive, especially for low-income players. And while they are an enjoyable way to pass the time, many of them have serious consequences.
Lotteries were used to give away property and slaves
The practice of giving property and slaves away by lot goes back to the ancient world. Moses, the leader of the Israelites, was instructed by God to take a census of the Israelites and divide land according to lot. In the Roman Empire, lotteries were popular games played by the emperors to give away slaves and property. The ancient Greek word for “carried home” describes the game of lots.
Lotteries are addictive form of gambling
While lottery addiction has received little attention, it has been recognized as an issue. A recent study from the University of Massachusetts found that two percent of adults in the state suffer from some type of gambling problem. Those who play games that offer instant gratification are more susceptible to lottery addiction. However, problem gambling rates are slightly lower in traditional lotteries, instant scratch games, and daily games like Keno. These findings suggest that many people are able to resist the temptation of playing the lottery and still manage to win big.
Lotteries are popular with lower-income people
The lottery is popular with low-income people for a few reasons. One of them is the chance to win life-changing sums of money. Another is the fact that people can purchase lottery tickets for “insignificant” amounts of money. In addition, many low-income people have little to no savings, and are unable to plan for their future. The allure of winning big is too strong to ignore.
Lotteries face pressure to increase revenue
While most state lotteries do not face the threat of state government cutting their advertising budgets, some have. These governments rely on the lottery to generate revenue, and many view advertising cuts as politically expedient and innocuous. When unemployment is high, lawmakers consider gambling unseemly. Other lotteries face pressure to increase revenue through other means. Local governments can engage in innovative marketing schemes to raise funds for important programs.
Lottery games feature famous celebrities, sports figures, or cartoon characters
In recent years, lotteries have partnered with brand-name companies and sports franchises in order to increase brand recognition and draw in new players. In the early 2000s, several states offered Harley-Davidson motorcycles as scratch-off prize tickets. Brand-name promotions are increasingly popular and involve famous celebrities, sports figures, and cartoon characters. Lottery officials seek joint merchandising agreements with these brands to increase product exposure and advertising, while promoting the lotteries’ brand.