Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2024 Independence Day Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

July 15, 2022

This Just In: Lotteries Rob the Poor

It’s no surprise that our money-grubbing state lotteries disproportionately hit those who can afford it least.

Politicians — especially those on the Left — claim to care about the working class and the poor.

In reality, though, they care a lot more about padding the government’s coffers at the expense of those who struggle to make ends meet. And while Democrats are always prattling on about “making the rich pay their fair share,” they don’t mind preying on poor folks to fill in budget gaps and help pad their enviable pensions.

Lower-income earners may not have to pay any federal or even state income taxes, but there are other ways government gets its hands into the pockets of the down-and-out. Runaway inflation is one. Everything is more expensive these days, and, naturally, it’s hitting the poor the hardest.

But there’s another way in which government makes the poor pay: state lotteries.

It’s common knowledge that low-income Americans are drawn to lotteries more than others, but now we’re learning why. It’s one thing for government to operate lotteries for additional “revenue,” but it’s quite another to intentionally target low-income communities.

As CBS News reports: “Lotteries now operate in all but five U.S. states. Driven by more than a half-billion dollars in annual ad spending, lottery ticket sales have grown from $47 billion to $82 billion since 2005, according to La Fleur’s 2022 World Lottery Almanac. In 10 states, lotteries generate more revenue than corporate income taxes.”

In other words, the poor are paying taxes. Plenty of taxes. They just don’t know it.

As CBS continues: “A 1999 report to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission found the top 10% of lottery spenders accounted for two-thirds of sales. The most frequent players, the study found, had lower incomes, were high school dropouts and disproportionately Black.”

More recently, a study conducted by the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland reveals that lotteries in most states are disproportionately placed in communities with high poverty and majority black or Hispanic residents. As it turns out, those urban poverty plantations are even more insidious than we thought.

Despite the popular notion that lottery proceeds are putting books and supplies in the hands of public school children, money collected from people who often use rent or food money to purchase lottery tickets isn’t helping their communities at all.

Once the money is collected, a significant portion of education spending is spent in wealthier school districts. Other states simply take non-lottery education spending and funnel it into other parts of the budget, and then replenish the deficit with lottery proceeds. In the end, they claim lotteries are funding education without increasing education spending.

An organization called Stop Predatory Gambling released a report in 2020 with evidence that a broad expansion of gambling opportunities in these communities increased poverty rates and led to higher instances of gambling addiction. “A nation of small earners, who could be small savers,” it concludes, “has been turned into a nation of habitual gamblers on course to lose more than $1 trillion of personal wealth to state-sanctioned lotteries and local casinos over the next eight years.”

It adds: “When states bring in lotteries, the almost sole focus has been to maximize profits, not protect the public interest. That’s because a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict exists between the interests of state lotteries and the public good: the state is charged with protecting the public from the very business practices that generate more revenue for the state.”

In the near term, there’s no way to stop the broad expansion of lotteries and casinos around the country. But maybe there’s an opportunity here — an opportunity for conservatives to put the lie to the Left’s tired claim that we’re only concerned with “The Rich”; an opportunity to call out these lotteries and the predatory practices they use against the poorest of Americans.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.