SPG Research Center
Casinos and state lotteries are the most predatory business in America and their windfall is coming at your expense.
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The Lottery tax journey
Below is a chart that shows how your wages are taxed and hit with fees when you buy a Lottery ticket. It turns out “Lucky Joe” isn’t so lucky after all- over $10 of his original $13.82 is taken out for taxes and fees. Follow the path Lucky Joe’s wage takes when he buys a Lottery ticket and discover just how much the Lottery is taxing everyone who buys a ticket.
Winners and losers feel the sad reality of the Lottery
With Lottery jackpots reaching unthinkable highs recently, more and more players are buying tickets to try their shot at, sometimes, upwards of $1 billion. Unfortunately, the historic problems with the Lottery continue to worsen. More and more, it is the poor who are buying tickets- not as a cheap source of entertainment- but as a last resort, blowing what little money they have. Furthermore, even if one hits that nearly-impossible jackpot, the result is not as joyous as you might think- one-third of all Lottery jackpot winners declare bankruptcy, the majority say their lives have not improved since winning the jackpot, and new studies show that recent Lottery winners have lower happiness levels than those who have recently become quadriplegic. This op-ed from CNN details the sad reality of today’s Lottery.
Urban casinos hurt America’s cities, experts say
The argument against casinos has long hinged on the immorality of casinos- preying on addicts, taking advantage of the poor. But as casinos shift more and more to American urban centers, rather than in the woods or on a Native American reservation, one can see that although they promise to revitalize struggling cities, casinos often hinder economic growth and hurt the cities. “…Casinos are simply a bad investment”, says this article from This Is Our City that shows the economic consequences that come from urban casinos.
Impacts of casino gambling on seniors
This article from Deseret News details how seniors are affected by going to casinos. Seniors are often one of the most vulnerable groups to problem gambling, with some studies finding that up to 70% of seniors have gone to a casino in the past 12 months, with one in eleven having bet “more than he or she could comfortably afford to lose”. Casinos provide excitement for seniors, a break from boredom and a source of entertainment. However, once these seniors get sucked into a casino, many find themselves unable to leave until they have drained the savings on which they depend.
KY Supreme Court rules in Instant Racing case
In a unanimous opinion, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has the legal authority to regulate wagers on previously run horse races presented on electronic gambling machines, called “instant racing machines” — but that the legality of the wagers themselves has yet to be established. These machines are similar to slots in a regular casino, but are often found at race tracks.The court said the case must go back to Franklin Circuit Court, where it originated, to determine whether this is a legal form of gambling. Below is a copy of the majority opinion in the case.
Report shows the bias in years of casino industry-funded research
Research into gambling and casinos has been, for years, tainted by money from casino interests, according to a new report by Goldsmiths College at the University of London. It draws on testimony from researchers who admit that they have lied, omitted data, or otherwise tampered with results of their research because it was funded by casino interests. One researcher says, “I was really scared about potentially annoying the industry and then getting my reputation trashed because I saw that happen… and it was really horrible. So I had a choice, say everything is fine. In other words, lie.” This article from The Independent details this shocking report that casts doubt on the validity of years of research.
Investigating the Lottery’s “luckiest woman”
This 3-part series, from Philly.com, examines the story of Joan Ginther, a woman from Texas who won millions off of scratch tickets over several years. Her story captured headlines worldwide when she won $10 million on a single scratch ticket in June 2010. Mathematicians estimated the odds of someone winning as much as Ginther has at 1 in 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or 18 septillion. However, this series explains that with a little luck and patience, it might not be so difficult to cheat one of America’s biggest industries.
20 years after casinos legalized in MO, former supporters admit they haven’t delivered on promises
In 1994, when a measure legalizing casinos in Missouri became law, State Rep. Herbert Fallert was its biggest supporter. After all, it was his 1991 legislation that began the whole process. However, now, 20 years into the casino industry in Missouri, the disappointing results have Fallert wondering if it was really the right move after all. “I sponsored it to save tourism for the state of Missouri,” says Fallert. “It turned out to be more of a gaming thing. It kind of got away from us.” This stunning reversal comes on the heels of the industry’s disappointing results. Now, education officials, who previously heralded the adoption of casinos in the state as a great source of money for education, are asking that education funding no longer be tied to such an unstable source of revenue. This article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch details why former supporters have soured on the casino industry in Missouri.