Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 9, 2016, 5:30 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

North Carolina Still Working To Establish Lottery

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: North Carolina Still Working To Establish Lottery

It's a sure bet that if North Carolina becomes the final state on the East Coast to offer a lottery, supporters say, lawmakers will have hundreds of millions of new dollars to spend every year on education.

But just as certain, opponents argue, is that as revenues rise, so will the number of North Carolinians addicted to gambling.

"The lottery will hurt a lot of people. It's a tax on the poor. It affects families," said Tom Spampinato of Cary, who spent 22 years battling a gambling addiction. He is now interim director of the state chapter of Gamblers Anonymous, an organization he's been affiliated with for 27 years.

"It's just another avenue, another thing that will cause people to gamble. ... It's not an effective way to raise money. It is an effective way to get people into trouble."

But that's a risk worth taking, according to supporters who argue the boost a lottery would provide to the state budget outweighs the potential social costs. The numbers game lawmakers are considering would generate an estimated $400 million to $450 million annually. Competing proposals earmark revenues for items such as school construction, college scholarships or an "education enhancement fund."

And it's not the same as a casino, an important distinction for some.

"A casino tends to be an amusement location whereas a lottery is kind of a daily or weekly or episodic purchase," said Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "People tend to think of them differently."

For years, however, the difference between cashing chips at the craps table and buying a lottery ticket along with a tank of gas at the convenience store hasn't been enough to overcome the state's resistance to a lottery.

North Carolina is the largest of the 10 states nationwide that don't have some kind of government-run gambling.

An alliance of liberals and conservatives, making the familiar antigambling argument that lotteries place a disproportionate financial burden on the poor and can lead to financial strains in families, have successfully limited the only form of gambling in the state to restrictive video-based games at a single American Indian casino, as well as some convenience stores and similar locations.

The strength of the economy also kept back attempts to start a lottery. But the decline of the state's once-strong textiles, tobacco, and manufacturing industries have helped create significant budget shortfalls. And since he was first elected in 2000, Democratic Gov. Mike Easley has adamantly promoted a lottery.

His lobbying and economic reality have gradually weakened lawmakers' resistance. House Speaker Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, began endorsing a lottery this session after years of indifference.

This year, the Senate's proposed budget included conditional language about how to spend proceeds from a lottery, if one were approved. The separate bill that would actually create the lottery was passed by the House on April 6 -- with two votes to spare -- and now awaits Senate action.

Targeting the lottery's proceeds for education, rather than adding the profits to the general fund for unspecified uses, has helped Easley and other staunch supporters make a final push.

That's the argument supporters in Georgia used to pass that state's lottery in 1992, and that success has provided political cover for fellow state leaders looking for ways to generate revenue without raising taxes, Guillory said.

"Georgia taught us that you could dedicate it and make it stick," Guillory said. "That's basically what Easley's arguing here, that he's gonna follow the Georgia model."

And tapping regional rivalries doesn't hurt. Supporters in North Carolina say a lottery would capture the millions of dollars spent by its citizens on lotteries in Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

But joining that crowd, said Charles Clotfelter, a professor of economics and law at Duke University who has studied lotteries, "might undercut the moral authority of the state" by hurting the 1 to 2 percent of the general population that's addicted to gambling.

Supporters in the state Legislature have pledged to use some lottery proceeds to assist problem gamblers, but that's not much consolation to those who work with gambling addicts.

"It's going to be bad news for problem gamblers," Clotfelter said. "The key for these people is just the availability. It makes it too easy to do."

AP

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

21 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 1, 2005, 3:28 pm - IP Logged

NC needs a lottery. Period.

    LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
    Tennessee
    United States
    Member #7853
    October 15, 2004
    11338 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: July 1, 2005, 4:24 pm - IP Logged

    yeah because south carolina is making millions off of north carolina residents.its stupid if the politicians get in the way of this.......


      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 1, 2005, 4:34 pm - IP Logged

      NC is losing to all neighboring states.

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11338 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 1, 2005, 4:36 pm - IP Logged

        i forgot about that.georgia,virginia and tennessee are others they are losing money to.

          wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

          United States
          Member #15143
          May 10, 2005
          414 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 1, 2005, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

          NC can still blow it. I hope they don't. Lottery only passed in the House by 2 votes and any changes the Senate makes need to be reconciled with the House.

            spookysoozy's avatar - acepent
            South Georgia
            United States
            Member #100
            January 28, 2002
            3734 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 2, 2005, 9:27 am - IP Logged

             

             I lived there 5 years.When they eliminate liquor and the topless bars they can really clean up all the addictions. ( give me a break )

            as they fell in the past, Ga first. 1=0, 0=1

            A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing

              Avatar
              New Member
              Kinston, North carolina
              United States
              Member #12204
              March 7, 2005
              7 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 2, 2005, 11:29 am - IP Logged

              I hope we get the lottery, but nothing in this state surprises me , we are always the last to get anything done.  tk

                LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                Tennessee
                United States
                Member #7853
                October 15, 2004
                11338 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 2, 2005, 9:01 pm - IP Logged

                 

                 I lived there 5 years.When they eliminate liquor and the topless bars they can really clean up all the addictions. ( give me a break )

                I Agree!

                  Avatar
                  New Mexico
                  United States
                  Member #12305
                  March 10, 2005
                  2984 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 3, 2005, 9:36 am - IP Logged

                  "The lottery will hurt a lot of people. It's a tax on the poor. It affects families," said Tom Spampinato of Cary, who spent 22 years battling a gambling addiction. He is now interim director of the state chapter of Gamblers Anonymous, an organization he's been affiliated with for 27 years.

                  Ever noticed there's no one more obnoxious, rude, sanctimonious about smoking than a reformed smoker?

                  I respect alcoholics anon a lot.... I don't know why people need it to quit being drunks, but I acknowledge some do, and I respect the organization.  But at the end of the day, I can testify from personal experience that the way you quit drinking is by quitting drinking.  In times past when I've quit smoking I did it by quitting smoking.  When I want to quit gambling, I'll do it that way.  I'll quit gambling.

                  I find it mildly irritating when I see statements such as this one, pure hogwash, treated seriously by the serious people who are considering lofty questions such as freedom of choice of all the citizenry.  If lotteries are a tax, they're a voluntary one with the taxees being adults with a lot larger opportunities to screw up their lives than a lottery, comes to that. (I agree with you Lottomike, though I have no objection to tittie bars except the ennui and the people inside them).

                  Jack

                   

                    dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

                    United States
                    Member #2338
                    September 17, 2003
                    2063 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 3, 2005, 1:55 pm - IP Logged

                    yeah because south carolina is making millions off of north carolina residents.its stupid if the politicians get in the way of this.......

                    You are talking about politicians. Politicians never let stupidity get in their way.

                      ajbb's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
                      NORTH CAROLINA COAST
                      United States
                      Member #1029
                      January 12, 2003
                      570 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: July 6, 2005, 9:39 pm - IP Logged

                      i live here in north carolina and we need a lottery. its a bunch of bull that the lottery will be hard on the poor. stop making excuses and give the people what the people want LOTTERY


                        United States
                        Member #379
                        June 5, 2002
                        11296 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: July 11, 2005, 9:38 am - IP Logged

                        I Agree!

                          Avatar
                          New Member
                          Fayetteville
                          United States
                          Member #18652
                          July 16, 2005
                          1 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: July 16, 2005, 11:25 pm - IP Logged

                          This reply is to  Tom Spampinato just because you have an addiction does not justify that everyone has an addiction.  North Carolina resident's deserve to have a lottery and put the money into the state instead of giving money to other states.  Individuals you have recoverd from addiction seem to want to hinder everyone around them.  I am an addiction therapist, and one thing about addiction is that individuals with the addiction learn to stay abstinent and know that not everyone is the same as them.  Your addiction is your's and your's alone, do not drag your addiction into the one thing that would help NC.  It would be the same as saying close all bars and clubs because it promots alcohol and it interferes with my sobriety.  Deal with your addiction and leave the population out of it.  If you can not handle your addiction then seek counseling to deal with it, remember live by the 12 step program and be concerned about yourself and not others who you are hindering.  My thoughts in a nutshell

                           

                           

                          Lorreen

                            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                            Tennessee
                            United States
                            Member #7853
                            October 15, 2004
                            11338 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: July 28, 2005, 3:50 am - IP Logged

                            I Agree!