HomeNewsLottery Is America’s ‘Most Neglected Problem’ and ‘Predatory’ Towards the Poor, Expert Claims

Lottery Is America’s ‘Most Neglected Problem’ and ‘Predatory’ Towards the Poor, Expert Claims

by Megan Molseed
lottery tickets
(Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto)

One expert is getting candid about the lottery, noting that gambling in America is one of the most “neglected” issues. And, this expert notes, the state lotteries are designed to “prey” on the poor.

Sure, many of us make a beeline for the closest convenience store when the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpots soar to amounts in the billions. However, experts are sounding the alarm on this tradition, issuing warnings of the dangers that come from playing the lottery.

According to Les Bernal, who serves as the national director for the group Stop Predatory Gambling, governments have turned this into a nation of “habitual gamblers.”

“Through its advertising and marketing of lotteries, state governments have turned a nation of small earners — who could be small savers — into a nation of habitual gamblers,” Bernal says per Fox News.

The American People Will Loose As Much As $1 Trillion In Commercialized Gambling In The Next Eight Years

Bernal notes that gambling as a whole is a major problem. In eight years, the expert notes, Americans will lose around $1 trillion of their “personalized wealth” to the practice. Half of this, Bernal says, goes to state lotteries.

Bernal says that there is a marked increase in concentration of these state lottery ticket sales in poorer communities. And, the expert notes, these tickets make deceitful declarations that this is a player’s “fastest way to a million dollars.”

Bernal says that state lotteries attempt to “position” themselves as an “answer” to financial concerns. Additionally, Bernal addresses the issues by noting “if you’re someone who just lost their job, or you’re trying to pay your rent at the end of the month, or you need money to pay a large medical bill, state lotteries attempt to position themselves as the answer.”

This, the expert notes exploits “the financial desperation” of the lottery player. “A citizen has to work two days before they can lose it all in an instant to a $100 scratch ticket,” he says.

“State lottery advertising and marketing is the public voice of American government today,” Bernal adds.

“It’s what we advertise to the American people more than anything else,” he continues. “And it’s a con. It’s a lie.”

The Big Con

Bernal says that what separates these state lotteries from other businesses selling common vices. Unlike the businesses that sell tobacco or alcohol the lottery is a “big con game,” Bernal says.

“If you pay for a pizza, a ticket to a sporting event, or a glass of wine, that’s what you receive in return,” he relates.

“With lotteries, what you receive is a financial exchange offering the lure that you might win money, “Bernal adds noting that the odds of winning are “mathematically stacked against you.” “You will lose your money in the end,” he says. “Especially if you keep gambling.”