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Competition, demographics concern Oregon Lottery director

Thursday, April 6, 2017

By Anna Marum, The Oregonian

PORTLAND — One of Oregon’s critical revenue sources, the Oregon Lottery, could be in jeopardy.

Aging players, increasing competition from tribe-operated casinos and a shrinking retail base threaten to cut into revenue the state budget counts on, lottery director Barry Pack told the House Revenue Committee on Tuesday.

The lottery, with more than 3,900 retailers statewide, is projected to contribute nearly $1.2 billion to state coffers this biennium. About half of that goes to education…The rest would pay for economic development, parks and natural resources, and gambling addiction treatment…

The biggest problem facing the state’s lottery, Pack said, is…players are getting older, and young people aren’t as interested as lottery officials would like…

We Respond & Your Comments

There are arguments pro and con on government lotteries. Pro – They generate loads of money. Con – They’re regressive taxes on low income workers and catnip to addicts.

We believe people should get the government they’re willing to pay for. Instead, Oregonians get $1.2 billion of programs whose costs aren’t paid by taxes and therefore go unnoticed. When money dwindles, legislators can zero them out or preserve them with more taxes. Guess which they choose.

Who’s really gotten a free ride on lottery bucks are politicians. They’ve spent them to create programs that get them reelected. Think when lottery dollars fade they’ll just kill them? No – they’ll pick your pockets to keep their good times rolling.

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