Why the Lottery Should Be Banned

When a state organizes a lottery prediksi macau, the goal is to sell tickets for prizes that are disproportionately large. Hence the slogans on billboards that promise huge jackpots: “Seize Your Fortune!” “Win Big! Win Now!” Lotteries play on the human impulse to gamble, and they are successful in doing so. But the bigger problem is that they also dangle the prospect of instant riches in an age of inequality and limited social mobility. That’s why they should be banned, writes Daniel J. Cohen in a new article for Slate.

In the seventeenth century, public lotteries were common in the Low Countries to raise money for town fortifications and to help the poor. They were so popular that one historian has argued that they were the first true mass consumer goods in Europe.

But as the world moved to a more secular and rationalistic culture, lottery advocates began to change tactics. Instead of arguing that the revenue would float most of a state’s budget, they started to argue that it would fund a single line item—usually education but sometimes other services like elder care and public parks. The appeal of this narrower message was that it dismissed long-standing ethical objections to gambling and gave moral cover to people who supported the lottery for other reasons.

Today, lotteries are a fixture of American life. People spent upward of $100 billion on tickets in 2021, making the games America’s most popular form of gambling. But they’re still a bad idea. For one thing, the revenue they generate is tiny compared to overall state revenues. And the messages that defenders of lotteries deliver—that a ticket bought at the gas station isn’t a waste because it raises money for children or whatever—are disingenuous at best.