Gambling operators in the US as well as around the world are hurting due to the results of the coronavirus. Casinos and other gambling style businesses are shut down, leaving operators with zero revenues coming in and bills to pay, including employee payroll. Many operators have already had to layoff their employees to stay afloat. Despite all the issues, anti-gambling non-profit organization Stop Predatory Gambling, is still on the prowl. They are now going after state lotteries.
Using the Coronavirus to their Advantage
The organization is wasting no time in using the coronavirus to their advantage. The national director of the group, Les Bernal, says that the stimulus relief package offered by the government due to the virus will not cover basic needs and expanses. However, it will be used to play the lottery.
The organization feels that the lottery games need to be shutdown from now and for at least 30 days after the payments have been received by residents in the US. According to the group, there are plenty of facts that show citizens will gamble via the lottery to change their financial condition. With families feeling desperate, the group feels that players will buy more lottery tickets in the hopes of winning to bring money in.
The money is being provided by the government with no stipulations. People are expected to act responsibly and spend their money wisely. However, we all know that some people will blow the money on things they don’t need. Experts are encouraging people to use the funds wisely as we do not know how long the economy will be affected and rent, mortgages, light bills and other necessity bills will have to be paid.
Apparently, Bernal does not think that American citizens will be responsible with their stimulus money. Bernal even went so far to say that state governments have turned the nation into habitual gamblers instead of small savers. The group is urging action now, asking that lotteries be shut own so the money can be invested by people on what they need rather than gambling.
The group is asking to shut down a form of revenue for several states when most revenue sources have been temporarily cut off. The revenues from lottery gaming are used for a variety of needs based on the state. Some use the money for infrastructure while others use it for education. Funds could also be allocated in other ways based on what the state sees fit.
If this source were to be taken away, it could have devastating consequences in areas across the nation. Many regions are already suffering due to casino closures and taking away the lottery would only add salt to the wound.
While the Stop Predatory Gambling group is no doubt going to continue their plight, they do not seem to have enough support to see anything actually happen by way of shutting down the lottery, even temporarily. We shall see if the group continues their push of if they back down and try another way to pursue their agenda.