Five Strategies for Limiting Access to Gambling Products


Drawing lots to determine ownership is recorded in many ancient documents. By the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it was a common practice in Europe, where it originated. In 1612, King James I of England established a lottery to fund the colony of Jamestown, Virginia. In the years that followed, private and public organizations used the proceeds from lottery draws to fund a variety of projects, from building towns and public works to wars and education.

Statistics on lottery play

While one out of five people do not play the lottery, one in five would do so if a friend or co-worker bought a ticket for them. Many of us are more likely to play the lottery when the jackpot is large. According to statistics, two out of five people play the lottery once a month when the jackpot is large. In addition, almost one-third of players purchase a single ticket, while one out of four players buy five or more.

Per capita spending

The US Census Bureau releases figures on per capita lottery spending every two years. These statistics are based on state and national population estimates, and are the most recent available. The average number of lottery tickets sold per capita in each state is calculated by dividing that number by its median household income. The higher the median household income, the higher the lottery spending per capita. In other words, the higher the lottery spending per capita, the better the odds of winning the jackpot.

Economic benefits to education

State governments often allocate funding for education from lottery earmarks, but the benefits of lottery earmarks go far beyond education. They can free up general fund money for other purposes and help schools avoid tax increases. In addition, lottery earmarks are generally more effective in delivering education-related benefits than general fund funds. Whether these benefits outweigh the costs is up for debate. Public school districts across the country are seeking ways to increase lottery earmarks to help education.

At-risk gamblers

The harms of gambling far exceed major health concerns such as osteoarthritis and diabetes mellitus. In fact, gambling is responsible for two-thirds of the global health burden. The same is true of alcohol and major depressive disorders. The evidence outlines the need for health-inclusive policy approaches. Here are five strategies for limiting access to gambling products:

Marketing to poor people

A common misconception is that lottery sales are not targeted toward poor people. Most lottery tickets are bought outside of the poorest neighborhoods, where high-income shoppers often pass by. However, marketing the lottery to poor people can still be effective if done correctly. The following points highlight how lottery sales can be more effective when targeting poor people. In addition, you should consider the type of audience you are marketing to and what methods you should use. In general, lottery sales are not targeted towards poor people, but they can be.

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