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By Steve Norton
CEO, Norton Management

Florida has a Gambling Problem and DeSantis Should Admit It

My comment:

When we passed the Casino Control Act (1977), in New Jersey, all casino advertising had to include the words "Bet With Your Head Not Over It”, suggested by Dick Codey (later Governor), whose Legislative Committee drafted the bill. As the casino operator, working with the Legislature, I was able to include a ban on marketing or advertising "highest payback percentage" or "loosest slots", or any reference to "best odds".

Like many other states, Florida’s lottery was presented to the voters as a way to help education, but many, including Florida, just replaced educational funds in the budget, with revenue from the lottery. And most states will admit, that the highest lottery spending (per capita), and the greatest concentration of ticket sales outlets are found in the lower income neighborhoods. And a few years ago, the Illinois Lottery had billboards in Chicago neighborhoods, that highlighted "Your Ticket Out". Out of the slums, substandard housing or inferior schools???

Nationally, American's gave $71.6 billion to state lotteries, $219.54 per person, and in Massachusetts, where there is the most successful lottery in the US, the per capita spending was $737.01, also with higher per capita losses in low-income neighborhoods. And in addition to state lotteries, many states are now adding online gaming and sports betting available on smartphones or computers, which will create many new compulsive gamblers, while also making it easier for minors to use a parent’s credit card or bank info to gamble illegally, like in the UK.