Lottery Increases Presence in N.C.
Special Report - March 27, 2009
The North Carolina “Education Lottery” Commission, which met on March 24 in Raleigh, has approved guidelines for printing some games and promotional materials in Spanish. The commission had previously discussed the issue of how to tap into North Carolina’s large and growing Spanish-speaking community to increase lottery ticket sales at a December 2008 meeting. To ensure the materials comply with a 2005 law that prohibits lottery advertising from intentionally targeting “specific groups or economic classes, the promotional materials for Spanish-speaking consumers will not include TV or radio ads, only print materials in the stores where tickets are sold. Tom Shaheen, executive director of the state lottery, also told the lottery commission that sales of lottery tickets in North Carolina are up, despite bad economic times, although he noted that sales of instant tickets are “wobbling.” He reported that the lottery is “on track” to meet its year-end goal of transferring $386.5 million into the Education Fund.
In related news, a company that offers check cashing, pre-paid debit cards and utility bill payment services, will begin offering lottery tickets to its customers in 14 of its 31 stores in North Carolina, according to the Greensboro News and Record. Mr. Shaheen told the News and Record that the Texas-based Ace Cash Express is one of a few similar businesses in the state that sell lottery tickets. “Anyone in North Carolina who runs a business and can pass a background check is eligible” to sell lottery tickets, Shaheen told the newspaper.
“It is shameful that during these tough economic times, the State continues to peddle gambling to those who are the least able to afford to play the lottery,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “These recent initiatives represent yet another way for the State to entice people to hand over their hard-earned dollars, and will only serve as a catalyst for creating more problem gamblers in our state.”
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.