Our Topic – The Lotto, Gambling, Poverty and Social Responsibility
Even though lottery sales nationwide have been steadily declining for the past decade, states like Texas have devised ingenious ways to boost the overall lottery revenue. The most popular is the “scratch-off” ticket, which allows buyers to know immediately whether they've won or lost. Last spring, the Texas Lottery Commission introduced a $50 scratch-off ticket -- the most expensive in the country -- where winnings can range anywhere from $50 to $50,000 and even to $5 million. The ticket was an instant success, generating $137 million dollars in the first seven months. However, rather than enticing higher income buyers, a study by the Texas Lottery Commission found that ticket sales were much stronger among low-income families, raising moral and ethical questions about whether the state is reaping financial benefits at the expense of its poorer residents. We look at the lottery, gambling, poverty and Catholic Social Teaching.