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Lottery History

In recent times, lotteries were outlawed by states until New Hampshire established its state lottery in 1964. Today, 43 states plus the District of Columbia operate lotteries and offer five main types of “products”: instant scratch tickets; video lottery terminals (a benign label for what are essentially slot machines and video poker machines); electronic terminals for Keno (also called Quick Draw); daily numbers games; and lotto games like Powerball and MegaMillions. And in 2014, state lotteries are now aggressively plotting to add a sixth form of gambling to their arsenal: intrastate internet gambling. “The states now offering lotteries do not simply make a product available in order to accommodate the widespread taste for buying a low-priced chance at a big prize…they seek to foster that taste,” wrote Charles Clotfelter and Philip Cook in their book Selling Hope. This massive expansion of state lotteries has had severe consequences for tens of millions of Americans, including the emergence of a Lottery Class in which more than one out of five citizens believe the best way to secure their financial future is to play the lottery according to the Consumer Federation of America.

Lottery Rigging

U.S. Senator John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, has sent a letter demanding a hearing to the leaders of the Multi-state Lottery Association. He claims the lottery association has done little to assure that the theft cannot occur again. Eddie Ray Tipton was convicted last year while director of security for MUSLA of rigging a multi-million dollar jackpot in the Iowa Lottery. He faces trial this month for other rigged lotteries in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The MUSLA fired Tipton, discontinued use of his computer, and has cooperated with the police. Senator Thune is not sure that is enough to prevent other riggings.   Chris Francescani, Senator Demands Answers on Lottery, NBC News, June 29, 2016, Available at http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/

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