State lotteries are considered saviors in many parts of the country. They collect money that eventually goes to the education system and other worthy causes in the individual state.
The way they get that money, however, is suspect. Many of the same politicians that are against casino gambling are in favor of the lottery. That creates a double standard that is not often discussed.
These politicians will claim that casino are a gateway to problem gambling. They will also argue that casinos go after people of low income households. The lottery is not much different.
What both the lottery and casinos are offering is a dream of getting rich. A dream of never having to work again, and a way to achieve wealth without having to work for it.
It does not matter whether a person is spinning the wheels of a slot machine or buying a lottery ticket. These gamblers are there for the same reason, a shot at getting out of their everyday lives. A chance for riches.
Mellon was advising a research team that was studying the effects of making people feel poor and its relationship to them buying more lottery tickets.
“People who run lotteries have a lot of knowledge. They know who buys what types of tickets, they know who their customers are and their advertising certainly plays on the hopes and aspirations of low-income individuals,” said Loewenstein.