Lotteries deliver billions for worthy causes, and should call the shots on internet gambling
Three state lotteries executives, Jeffrey R. Anderson, director of the Idaho Lottery; Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency; and Charles McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery, have presented the argument for states' rights on the issue of online gambling.
Writing in the Washington state publication The Intelligencer over the weekend, the trio note that state lotteries provide funding for many worthy causes at state level, with the nation's 44 state lotteries generating over $20 billion a year in 2013 .
"Because of the important role state lotteries play in investing in our communities, and our states' futures, we are concerned with the recent efforts in Congress to pass a nationwide ban on Internet gambling and lottery sales", the three senior executives write.
"We firmly believe that all decisions about gambling should continue to be left to each individual state. It should be at their discretion what games, if any at all, are offered and through what manner they are delivered."
The authors go on to say that, whilst not all lotteries are necessarily contemplating a move to the internet, they are united in the belief that "…this is not and should not be a federal ‘one size fits all' decision" and are concerned that a sweeping federal ban on internet gambling could be a devastating blow not only to lotteries but to everyone impacted by their contributions.
The article claims that a recent study has shown that a federal ban could cost US states up to $5.5 billion annually, creating serious deficiencies in state services as a consequence.
"It also would be a direct assault on states' rights," the trio suggests. "Since 1964 with the founding of the first modern state lottery in New Hampshire, states have effectively, safely and responsibly operated lotteries. They have ensured transparency and promoted fair play.
"Should some states choose to employ Internet gambling or lottery sales, the same extensive safeguards and high standards would be put into place. But it's a choice that each state should have the option to make.
"Efforts by some members of Congress to substitute their judgment for those of the states on Internet gambling and lottery policy should be rejected."
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