WTHR reports that Governor Mike Pence is lobbying lawmakers to not approve an expansion of gambling despite competitive pressure from other states:
Supporters of the new measures sought by Indiana's casino industry say they're necessary to keep pace with new competition from states including Ohio and Illinois. They also say the proposals don't constitute an expansion of gambling....
Gam[bl]ing in Indiana is big business. It may have dropped from third to fourth in the nation in 2012, but it still touts staggering numbers: $500 million in charitable gaming and $2.6 billion in casino gam[bl]ing.Neighboring states are now threatening those numbers. Legislation before the Indiana General Assembly is an attempt to curb the threat. It is asking lawmakers to allow the state's two racinos in Anderson and Shelbyville to introduce live tables.
[W]hile most of us tend to view all over-the-top ad campaigns with a healthy amount of skepticism, there is something uniquely disturbing about the one the lottery’s ad agency is now unveiling. Why? Because in this case it’s our own state that is trying to mislead everyone, and that is guiding at least some Hoosiers into a behavior that isn’t good for them.
The ads also are preying on emotions in a downright despicable way.
The new ad campaign jumps on an innocent tradition: people sitting around with friends or family and talking about what they’d do if they struck it rich with a lottery ticket. Hey, those conversations are fun -- I’ve had plenty of them, most of which center on buying an island and making major investments in the search for a cure for baldness.
But the new lottery ads use those big-dream conversations as the basis of a campaign that tells people the opposite of the longshot truth and essentially encourages them to foolishly consider the lottery as an investment tool. Few people, of course, will ever make serious money playing the lottery; the odds guarantee that most of us will emerge from a lottery transaction as a loser. You just wouldn’t know that based on the new ads, which make the ridiculous case that spending money on gambling is a secure path to financial freedom.
One ad features a man saying he’d use the money to save for his kid’s college education. Another says he’d use it to fund arts programs. Yet another preys on a deeply painful aspect of many people’s lives by featuring a woman who says she’d use the money for fertilization treatments.I would encourage people to read the Tully column in full as he proceeds to slice and dice up even more these questionable tactics. It's the best thing he's written in years.
In a press release, the lottery says, “None of the dreams we've heard would be possible without purchasing a ticket from one of our valued retailers.”
Really? Is that the message we’re hearing from the state? The only way to send your kid to college, or to have a baby, or to have a bit of financial security, or to support nonprofit programs, is by playing the lottery? That message is as reckless as it is untrue.
It’s baloney. It’s actually something worse and smellier. But let’s keep it clean here.
The bottom-line goal of the campaign, of course, is to convince more people to play the lottery, which pours hundreds of millions of dollars into state coffers. Too many people choose not to gamble, and that bugs the state employees who run the lottery and the state leaders who rely on the revenue it provides. But isn’t it worth stepping back and asking whether the state-owned lottery must be an entity where profit is fully maximized, where every potential customer is lured in, and where everything is done to make sure every dollar is grabbed?