Lottery Officials Attempt to Boost Sales
Special Report - November 30, 2007
Lackluster lottery sales have led North Carolina lottery officials to seek more lottery ticket outlets and to design lottery games with Christmas themes in an attempt to attract more potential ticket buyers. According to a recent report in the Raleigh News & Observer, North Carolina currently has about one lottery outlet per 1,500 residentswell below the national average of one outlet per 1,300 residents. The report also noted that the lottery contracts for over 1,400 outlets have been terminated since lottery sales began in early 2006, most because the operations changed hands. About 400 of those, however, came at the request of store owners, who reportedly felt the lottery was not beneficial to their business. Lottery executive director Tom Shaheen said he wants to add nearly 500 new lottery outlets before next summer, according to the News & Observer.
In addition, the lottery has added a number of new instant scratch-off tickets, at least two of which are designed to take advantage of the Christmas holiday. “Jingle Big Ol’ Bucks” and “Holiday Cash” are designed “to get players in the holiday season,” according to a lottery press release. In addition, the $20 per ticket “Merry Millionaire Raffle” offers weekly drawings leading up to a final drawing two days after Christmas.
“Lottery officials seem determined to plunge North Carolina into the vicious cycle of dependency on gambling money,” said John Rustin, vice president and director of government relations for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Placing a lottery outlet on practically every street corner and continually introducing more and more wagering options may well induce more people to gamble, but at what expense?” he asks. “The lottery will simply take advantage of more of our citizens by dangling false hope before them. Over time, 98 percent of those who play will lose, and a significant number will fall prey to a gambling addiction,” Rustin concluded.
Copyright © 2007. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.