Easley Recommends Increasing Lottery Prize Payouts
Special Report - February 23, 2007
Prompted by an expected shortfall in lottery revenue, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has recommended that more funds be devoted to increasing lottery prize payouts in an effort to lure additional players to the state-sponsored numbers game. According to the Associated Press, Governor Easley believes that increasing prizes will generate $1.5 billion in total sales over the next fiscal year. Since tickets went on sale in March, the numbers game has generated significantly less than supporters initially estimated. Lottery officials now say that revenue earmarked for education will fall $75 million short of the $425 million included in the General Assembly’s 2006-07 budget. Although increasing prize payouts will decrease the percentage of funds devoted to education programs, Governor Easley said that his new plan would inevitably result in more overall revenue and more funds for education.
Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, said that enticing more citizens to play the lottery in order to meet a revenue benchmark is the wrong step. “Increasing the percentage of funds devoted to prize payouts will only throw salt in the wound and increase the number of problem gamblers across North Carolina,” Brooks said. “The proper role of government is not to lure citizens to participate in a gambling business that is harmful to the social and economic vitality of our state.”
Copyright © 2007. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.