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NC proposed law - ban welfare recipients from buying lottery tickets

12:18 pm - 01/27/2013
North Carolina lawmakers have drafted legislation that would ban welfare recipients and people in bankruptcy from buying lottery tickets in the state, according to several news reports.

The bill draft would punish vendors for selling lottery tickets to someone who they know is on welfare or in bankruptcy. The lawmakers behind it believe it's counterproductive for the government to accept money from welfare recipients who are struggling to get by.

"We're giving them welfare to help them live, and yet by selling them a ticket, we're taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessities," state House Majority Leader Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam (R), who is helping draft the bill, told ABC 11. Stam added that the lottery "is essentially a scam," the news outlet reported. Stam also said that some of the North Carolina lottery advertising is "just fraudulent".


Some lottery critics claim that the lottery is a tax on the poor, the uneducated, and the elderly, who are more likely to buy lottery tickets. For example, the poorest counties in North Carolina have the highest spending per capita on lottery tickets.

Lottery ticket buyers have almost no chance of winning the jackpot. However, lottery sales around the country have been breaking records.

and they're going to enforce this HOW, exactly?? O_o how is the poor random cashier supposed to know someone is on welfare unless they are serving their close, personal friend and know for a fact that they are receiving assistance??

to quote a commenter on HuffPost's facebook post about this story, where i first spotted it: "What are they going to do, make them wear a patch on their clothes? How very Nazi Germany."


da source
blackjedii 27th-Jan-2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
On one hand, that does seem a little recursive. At least in Virginia the revenue from lottery tickets largely goes back to schools and whatnot so it would go right back to them? Idk

It has been a Godwin day.

So let's see some Kitlers.





wrestlingdog 27th-Jan-2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
Best solution.
badgerly 27th-Jan-2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, NC. You just keep gettin better and better.
unclesamonmars 27th-Jan-2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
I just don't understand the reasoning behind this? If they think the lottery is "essentially a scam" and "just fradulent" why don't they get rid of it? I understand the government wants the money they receive from the lottery, but by barring some of the biggest contributors to the jackpot they're substantially lowering their gains. And in any case, hopefully welfare recipients are receiving more than what the average buyer spends on lottery tickets.

This is even ignoring the impossibility of enforcing such a law. And then by shifting responsibility to the vendors I can just imagine the horror stories of being denied a lottery ticket because someone "looks poor."
romp 28th-Jan-2013 12:51 am (UTC)
I would guess the main argument is that taxpayers are providing them money to gamble. It'd be okay if they won and stopped being a burden but that doesn't happen often enough.
mskye 27th-Jan-2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
Go on, Republicans. Keep on being blatantly classist/sexist/racist/[insert type of bigotry here, because what kind of bigotry are Republicans not on board with?]. Enjoy being on the wrong side of history. I hope that the grave that you are digging for yourselves is comfortable.
kagehikario 27th-Jan-2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
All the freedoms for the wealthy, they've earned it! Paternalism for the poor, they just dun know no better, shucks!
mskye 27th-Jan-2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
TEACH A MAN TO FISH BLAH BLABBITY BLOO
othellia 27th-Jan-2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
Shouldn't they want people on welfare buying lottery tickets since they say the money's essentially going straight back into their pockets?
blackjedii 27th-Jan-2013 11:25 pm (UTC)
o hai misses peel
mickeym 27th-Jan-2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
Jesus Christ. Tennessee, North Carolina and Arizona should all get together...and FIND ANOTHER PLANET. Get off this one, idiots! Ugh.
badgerly 28th-Jan-2013 12:36 am (UTC)
Did you forget TX?
jeweledvixen 27th-Jan-2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
How is the lottery cashier supposed to know if someone is in bankruptcy? Or even on Welfare? Unless they are buying food with their Welfare benefits, there is no way of knowing. This is ridiculous.

I also love the line "...we're taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessities," Yes, gods forbid the poor should have even one small luxury to brighten their day. They only deserve to barely subsist. No luxuries for you! Not even a $1 lottery ticket!
urplesquirrel 28th-Jan-2013 12:07 am (UTC)
We're currently on food stamps, but I buy a lotto ticket once a round because a couple of days to fantasize about winning $151 million really brightens my day. It's an entertainment cost, and who knows? I might just win it one day.
glamoursnipe 27th-Jan-2013 11:50 pm (UTC)
Ever since I moved back down here in April, my home state has done little but embarrass me. Even living in boho-Asheville doesn't make much difference anymore. And so many of the people I went to high school with have turned into hardcore Teabaggers who learn everything they know from Faux News...so much for mine being a progressive generation.

Just fuck it, man. Fuck it through the floor. At this rate, my marriage--my fiance' is English, so I'll be moving to the UK--can't happen fast enough.
romp 28th-Jan-2013 12:56 am (UTC)
NC must be wonderful if this is the sort of thing they need to micromanage.
corbyinoz 28th-Jan-2013 12:58 am (UTC)
But what makes me - I don't know, laugh, cry, wince? - is that conservatives keep on insisting that they're for smaller government, hate the nanny state etc. What they really mean is - we'll interfere in every aspect of your lives, including your reproductive and sexual ones, including how you choose to spend a few dollars a week, as long as you keep us complete corporate and commercial freedom.

The hypocrisy is staggering.
ljtaylor 28th-Jan-2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
duh they only mean freedom for rich white men people, silly
kyra_neko_rei 28th-Jan-2013 01:04 am (UTC)
"...we're taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessities,"

Hope is a necessity.

Especially when you've only got "the barest of necessities."
tabaqui 28th-Jan-2013 01:10 am (UTC)
For fuck's sake! Again! So much fail this week, jayzus.
bluelarkspur 28th-Jan-2013 01:31 am (UTC)
and they're going to enforce this HOW, exactly??

A lot of laws are never enforced - they're essentially there to make the news, to send a message, to give politicians a platform to say "I wish people would stop doing X" even though there is nothing they can do about it. No need to invoke Hilter.

kyra_neko_rei 28th-Jan-2013 01:39 am (UTC)
Here's an idea, maybe if you provide people with better options than buying lottery tickets, that actually make sense in their situation and speak to the emotions and priorities that drive lottery-ticket-buying, maybe that'll fix the lottery issue without further scapegoating the poor?

I recall a radio program I listened to one day a year or so ago. It was describing a situation in some high-poverty developing country---seems some enterprising bank had put together a program to encourage its poor clientele to start and maintain savings accounts.

It did this by creating a sort of lottery. I can't remember the specific mechanism, but basically putting a certain amount of money into the account also got you an entry in this weekly or monthly drawing the bank had, where one of the account-holders would win a cash prize. I believe it might've been some fraction of the interest paid out to all the participating accounts that got withheld to form the prize purse, or might've been just paid for out of the bank's profits as an expense undertaken to drum up business.

Anyway the effect was "put your money in an account here and get free lottery tickets for these drawings we have." So that same yearning for hope and dreams and the possibility of winning a prize got used as an incentive to maintain a savings account, rather than as incentive to spend a dollar or five every time you go to the gas station.

And it was hugely popular, and got plenty of people on the road to savings and financial security, and then the lottery people got pissed that it was sucking at their market share and got it shut down.

But seriously. You want to stop poor people from spending welfare money on lottery tickets? Offer them some other way to get what they buy the things for.

peace_piper 28th-Jan-2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
This is a good comment and you should feel good for talking actual sense.
lonely_hour 28th-Jan-2013 02:09 am (UTC)
the poor are forced to conform to a system that functions to keep them poor, how typically classy to also rid them of any pleasure in hope, whilst saying it's for their benefit
anamatics 28th-Jan-2013 03:09 am (UTC)
how about you reform the NC lottery so it actually goes to fund education and not whatever it actually does?
hinoema 28th-Jan-2013 03:09 am (UTC)
Hoping to win the lottery is too often a symptom of hopelessness and desperation. If you don't want people buying lottery tickets- or gambling, or doing drugs to escape, or whatever else distracts from the grim reality of being either dirt poor or constantly one step away from disaster- work on building a stable society for everyone, not just a barely supervised feeding ground for the rich and privileged.

try to get rid of the cause- poverty and exclusion- not the symptom.
ialmrnt5 28th-Jan-2013 03:11 am (UTC)
Hmmm... I feel like the poorest people usually are the ones that spend the most on those stupid scam things, I always get stuck behind some bag lady looking old person turning in like 20 tickets, winning like $1 on each one at the grocery/convenience store. I feel like people who are wise with their money don't really waste it on stupid things like lotto tickets/scratch offs/quickdraw/etc.
silver_apples 28th-Jan-2013 05:53 am (UTC)
So the government should ban certain people from playing the lottery based on their appearance and how much they inconvenience you? The issue is not "is the lottery a good investment", it's "does the government have the right to forbid some people from playing".

Many people (even intelligent people with a steady income and a realistic understanding of their chances of winning) enjoy buying lottery tickets and scratch-offs. Some people think it's fun to try to win, and worth a dollar or two for the chance and a few minutes of entertainment.
sixdemonhag 28th-Jan-2013 04:40 am (UTC)
Next they'll just come up with the idea that if a welfare recipient actually wins the lottery, the state takes their winnings...
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