The official lottery sgp is the one run by state governments, and its most important selling point was that it would allow states to maintain vital public services without having to raise taxes. Lottery advocates argued that the games could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, thereby relieving politicians from the unpleasant prospect of raising state taxes.
But that premise was based on wildly inflated estimates of what lottery proceeds really could do. In its first year, New Jersey’s lottery brought in thirty-three million dollars, which covered only two per cent of the state’s budget.
In fact, a large share of lottery revenues actually goes toward administrative expenses. And, according to Cohen, this is especially true of lotteries promoted by state legislators themselves.
Lottery players, meanwhile, are being taken advantage of, she says. The money they spend on tickets is continually paying into a system that they will probably never win, she adds. And, as with all commercialized gambling, lottery sales increase in poor neighborhoods where people have the greatest exposure to advertising.
In short, lottery officials are “scamming poor people to support what they feel is a good cause,” Bernal says. ”You have low-income people, who are essentially paying for college scholarships for middle-class and upper-class families.”