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23 July 2012

Online Lottery

Here in Georgia, we will soon be able to purchase lottery tickets online. As an employee at a public college, a big chunk of my paycheck comes from lottery revenue that funds the HOPE Scholarship program. I would rather it didn't.

Lotteries amount to regressive taxes. Those with lower levels of income and lower levels of education are more likely to purchase lottery tickets. The revenue from the lottery, though, is more likely to benefit those with higher levels of income and higher levels of education (because their kids have access to more educational resources that set them up to go to college and win HOPE scholarships to pay for college). It's quite a perverse system.

But, here is the interesting part sociologically: the digital divide in this country means that the people who are most likely to buy lottery tickets (i.e. the poor and undereducated) are also those with the lowest levels of internet access. I'm not sure how the state figures that this will "increase the lottery's revenue by millions."

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