Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State Lottery Up for Sale

See the article: Illinois Is Putting Lottery on Block for Quick Payoff
The state of Illinois yesterday took the first steps in selling its state lottery system, hoping to attract as much as $10 billion from investors who, in return, would own a monopoly that could turn out to be the biggest jackpot yet...

Under the proposed sale, Illinois would receive a multibillion-dollar one-time payment, and the lottery’s new owners would receive all revenue and profit for 75 years.
I can hardly imagine that the State of Illinois will parse out this money over that 75 years. It will most certainly be spent and used to line politicians' pockets very quickly. And then they will be left with an aggressively-marketed private lottery, increasing poverty and spreading misery.
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, a Democrat, first floated the idea of privatizing the state’s lottery while seeking re-election last May. At the time, Mr. Blagojevich estimated that the sale’s proceeds would finance a four-year building and education plan for schools. Under the proposal, $6 billion would be set aside to provide the schools with $650 million a year for the next 18 years, slightly more than what they received last year in lottery income.
Of course the money will be spent quickly. What will Illinois then do to replace this tax revenue?

If the Governor were really compassionate about school children, he would close down the lottery.


  1. I sholud have known someone would get an idea like this. If states are determined to have lotteries, they should at least give some of the money as reparations to the surviving people who spent time in jail when running a numbers racket was considered a crime. We started with lotteries and now we have gambling as economic development. What next?

  2. I'm sure that massive lottery scandals will eventually kill them. Gambling was once twice legal before in the U.S.: both times it was outlawed when poverty rates soared.