Gambling-camel's Head Under The Tent!!
Source: The State (Columbia, SC), August 12, 2000,
"Op Ed piece", pA11:
STATES PAINT PRETTY SORRY PICTURE OF LOTTERY
The Massachusetts lottery began in 1972 with a 50-cent-ticket weekly
drawing. One year later, scratch tickets with instant payoffs were introduced. Today, the lottery
has nearly 1,600 keno (casino-style video terminal) locations and 33 instant games, for an annual
take of more than $3 billion.
There is nothing atypical about Massachusetts'
slide from a relatively innocent, low-stakes lottery into high-dollar, high-addiction
Traditional lotteries with their daily or weekly
drawings are not exciting enough to keep the cash flowing. Consequently, play drops off, and
newer, more exciting - and more addictive - games must be introduced to cover state funding
commitments. Current trends in the lottery industry mean South Carolina's descent into the
most addictive forms of the lottery would be greatly accelerated.
The lottery industry's player base is aging, and
sales are sagging. Lottery operators are responding. Public Gaming International recently
asked members of the lottery industry what they see as the future of lotteries. Their
comments are telling.
- "As we . . . move
into the 21st century, we need to focus on capturing our younger players with new and
innovative games." -Virginia Hanes, executive director, New Jersey
- "Lotteries will have
to be faster moving and much more willing to make changes in order to keep our players'
interest." -Jim Maguire, director, Indiana Lottery.
- "I have seen more
and developed more new product ideas in the last six months than in the last 15 years put
together. Watch out, 2000. There will be a lot of . . . lottery products to pique consumer
interest." -Ed Stanek, commissioner, Iowa Lottery.
- "To capture the
attention and interest of tomorrow's players will require instant ticket results revealed with
the wipe of a finger across a computer screen in early 2000, or lotteries on demand utilizing
multimedia screens." -Linda Cloud, executive director, Texas Lottery
- "It will become
common for players to . . . play . . . wherever they want, in their homes, cars, on the beach,
an airplane, anywhere." -Arch Gleason, president and CEO, Kentucky Lottery
- "We must rethink our
game strategies, we must incorporate . . . billion dollar jackpots offered by a new consortium
of Powerball and Big Game states." -Anthony S. Cooper, executive director, D.C.
- "Linking video
lottery terminals to form . . . progressive jackpots (will be) the key to increased
player-ship." -John C. Musgrave, director, West Virginia Lottery.
LOTTERIES TO DOMINATE INTERNET & ACCELERATE PRESSURE TOWARD THE
Cliff Dutton, president
of GTECH Corp.' s UWin!, is confident that lotteries will dominate the Internet's estimated $10
billion gambling market by 2003. He says: "The regulatory limits of today won't last forever.
Internet lottery play will be a dramatic trend . . . in America."
These trends would force South Carolina to adopt
the most aggressive and addictive forms of lottery gambling in order to remain profitable.
This would be very harmful to our citizens and potentially very corrupting for our
With the elimination of video poker, South
Carolina has become a better place to visit, live and raise children. Let's not be guilty of
taking one step forward and two steps backward by introducing new forms of gambling we may
never be able to remove. South Carolinians should refuse to become a player in the gambling
industry and vote "No" to a lottery this November.
[Mr. Caiello, interim president of Palmetto Family
Council, lives with his wife and three sons in Irmo, S. C. He can be reached at
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19 August 2000)