Should States Continue to Run Lotteries?

State governments are largely debating whether or not to continue operating lotteries. The games of chance are an intangible form of gambling, and the revenues they generate are a relatively small percentage of a state’s budget. Yet many argue that they should be allowed to continue, because they are a useful source of state revenue. Read on for our opinion. Let us know your thoughts! Here are three key questions to consider when deciding whether or not to run a lottery.

Lottery revenues are a small portion of state budgets

As a small part of state budgets, lottery revenues may seem a little off-putting. After all, these revenues are not a form of user fee, nor are they considered miscellaneous. However, the Census Bureau does classify all lottery profits as a tax, and this means they fall under the category of taxation. Regardless of the tax status, lottery profits contribute to state budgets.

They are a game of chance

In most cases, lottery games are considered a game of chance. Since participants make their selections based on randomness, their outcomes depend mainly on luck. Probability is the determining factor for a small percentage of lottery winnings. The odds of selecting six out of 49 numbers are fourteen million to one. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions to this rule. Listed below are some examples of games of chance.

They are a form of gambling

State lotteries are the most common form of gambling in the U.S., with profit rates as high as 38%. Lotteries are a primary source of government gambling revenue. In 1996, net revenues from state lotteries totaled $16.2 billion, including costs. The money that lottery players wager on winning tickets equaled 32% of total sales. However, the government still faces conflicting goals as they attempt to maximize lottery revenues.

They are a source of revenue for states

In the past, lotteries have been an important source of revenue for states, and they continue to be. Since 1964, there have been no state lottery abolishments, and nearly 60% of adults report playing the lottery at least once per year. However, the emergence of instant games has been an especially controversial development, causing some states to ban or at least restrict lottery distribution. In addition, the state of Arkansas has promoted instant games that feature offensive images.

They are a form of gambling for lower-income people

Many studies have found that the UK and Australia’s national lotteries have the same effects on lower-income households. In the UK, households spend an average of $162 per year on lottery tickets. However, low-income households spend as much as $597, or roughly 6% of their annual income. These results are troubling, but not entirely surprising. While mainstream financial advice is geared toward the middle class, those living in extreme poverty often have no choice but to gamble.