In the aftermath of World War II, states were facing budget crises that required new revenue. Rather than raise taxes, they decided to run lotteries. The conceit was that the proceeds of these games would enable them to finance everything from schools to roads, without enraging an anti-tax electorate. Lottery critics hailed from both parties and all walks of life, but they were largely devout Protestants who viewed state-sponsored gambling as immoral.

The result was a system that has brought in an average of one percent of state revenue per year. That is a drop in the bucket compared to what state governments need. It’s also a regressive tax, taking a disproportionate toll on low-income residents. But the most damning problem is how much it undermines state government’s ability to increase taxes when necessary.

Lottery officials insist that it is a legitimate form of public funding. But the truth is that these programs are regressive and do not adequately fund education or other state priorities. Instead, they create inequities that benefit rich school districts and colleges far from poor neighborhoods where lottery tickets are sold. This is the American dream in reverse.

Players must be 18 years or older to play the official lottery. Players are responsible for ensuring they comply with all relevant gaming laws and regulations in their jurisdiction. If you are unsure, please contact GamblerND in North Dakota or 2-1-1 for assistance.

The NY Lottery is dedicated to raising funds for educational purposes. Since its inception, the New York Lottery has raised over 34 billion dollars for education.