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In tough economic times like these -- one industry is booming it's the lottery in fact -- themselves are hitting the jackpot with a record ticket sales.
But critics say the lotteries are preying on poor people with the promise of a dollar and -- dream.
And Texas a number of groups like the NAACP want the state lottery shut down so should -- folks not Pitt play the role lottery.
With us now from Austin, Texas rob color from the Baptist convention of Texas and -- EPA exempt FT and financial.
Welcome to you both -- and start with you you worked for the Texas lottery for twelve years you -- -- and now you don't like it why.
Well -- united took me about.
Eight years of really -- another side of the table.
You know when you're in the industry you think you know with the other side this concern about which really don't.
And you know it's an economic question.
I encourage people not to look at it any differently than you would any other tax -- You know where's it come from you know how much has been put -- to -- certain amount of money.
-- you know.
Well interestingly it's put an interesting why it's not exactly that.
Our -- expected for an Olympic what do you say well there's two things going on here in the first is financial from the government's perspective this is all about revenue.
And the lottery is an incredibly lucrative sector for the government so it's very unlikely that even with pressure from -- groups like the Dublin and it NAACP.
Is going to I have affect their decision to keep this -- this in play.
Simply because even if we do see a reduction of these billions of dollars out of the government's budget right what it's gonna do is cause program cuts benefit cuts.
Thank you disproportionately hurt the very people that these advocates of cutting out the state -- actually claim to be protecting our rob.
9% of their income on lottery tickets -- It really does seem to be the pork folks out there the people don't have any income who are buying these tickets is that a reason to get rid of the lottery.
-- what what will look in the -- just like this a lot of states it was sold as a non regressive.
Viable revenue mechanism for the stake.
And you know after twenty years it's it even the State's own studies show.
This is preying on the same communities that the federal government and state government -- put money into to try to help weather beef to.
-- help help with the get young kids breakfast.
And then the lottery is briskly pull Iran back out so.
Let you know they -- -- -- -- -- -- So should people be told they can't play the lottery and -- come -- you know the whole idea is addressing the behavior of gambling and the idea that if we eliminate the lottery you're going to eliminate the behavior is just not true.
It's really hard to make the case that someone claiming disability spending five dollars on a lottery ticket rather than a loaf of bread to feed their families gonna -- responsible overnight.
More likely what we see is this a shift of that behavior instead of buying a lottery ticket they're going to maybe about a their favorite sports -- -- go down to the local casino.
So -- to shifting the problem -- -- really addressing the underlying behavior.
-- here's some good numbers and I want to show you what are the odds of winning Mega Millions once in -- 176.
The odds of getting hit by lightning one -- -- 80000 look you're not gonna win this thing.
And rob do you -- in.
At the end of the day I mean we can't control who plays the lottery right I mean how would you even begin.
To control who gets to play.
Or you -- we gambling.
What what what look we can get here at the end of the day because of somebody's spending a dollar you don't -- -- draw our may require.
To find out whether went on Wednesday.
Texas -- for any given week does about seventy million dollars and -- that they're getting.
55 million end of it from scratch tickets and impulse purchase was immediate gratification.
You know we it in this day we have a smaller group of people spending -- a larger amount of money.
And you know.
And -- the argument -- that -- a point that I think going back to the idea that we have to address the consumers' behavior who wanna teach responsibility.
We wanna teach allocating appropriate funds -- -- savings and two education rather than having someone miss allocate this capital to.
That the prospects of winning billion that I want and now I don't worry I mean that's not the way this works interesting stuff probably want to thanks so much for coming on tonight really appreciate your time.
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