State lotteries transfer wealth out of needy communities, investigation finds

State lotteries transfer wealth out of needy communities, investigation finds.
Lottery retailers in nearly every state are clustered in poor neighborhoods, driving a wealth transfer to multinational corporations.

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Lotteries have often been called “a tax on people who don’t understand math”. And who doesn’t understand math? The poorly educated. And in the USA, who doesn’t get good educational opportunities? The poor, since they can’t afford private schools and the public schools are usually funded mainly by property tax, which is on low-value property in poor areas. SO much of the USA’s financial systems seem designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.


I’m always encouraging people to put their £1’s into Premium Bonds instead of doing the latter or buying scratch cards.

Not sure if you have anything like Premium Bonds there but any money you put into them can be withdraw and any time… but every month there is a prize draw with the top jackpot being £1M. The only downside is that you earn no interest while your money is invested into them (winnings are tax-free tho).

It’s definitely better than wasting money on the lottery imo! :lol:

Interesting concept. Essentially, the interest you would accrue, pays for prize draw tickets. Presumably this is at some fixed rate, like £1 of “interest” per entry or some such, right? If it’s that everybody gets one entry, I’d expect a lot of people to just put in £1. :slight_smile:


I believe it’s per every £1, so the more you have in them the better chance you have of winning. More details here:

There is a maximum allowance of £50,000 per person, and they are govt backed - so they are one the safest ways to save (with banks you are only protected to something like the first £10,000 IIRC).

Personally I think bonds are great, much better than chucking your way on the lottery! Surprised you don’t have something similar there - there must be something surely?

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I didn’t think we needed an investigation to show that lotteries prey on needy communities, but I’m glad they are pointing it out.

One of my favorite money books:

Talks about the lottery being some people’s only perceived hope of reaching financial freedom. The only time when they can dream of one day not needing to be worried about money is when they are buying a lottery ticket. It’s a total scam and a trap and a crime against humanity, but it might not be as simple as people not understanding math.

Investing money instead of buying lottery tickets is excellent advice, but a large part of being poor is being in a perpetual state of needing to make short-term financial decisions. For someone in that state to invest money in something that will double in 7 years with way more than 50% certainty just doesn’t carry the same emotional rush as a 0.000007% chance of waking up tomorrow and never worrying about money again.


A friend of mine once said, “Poor is a state of mind. Broke is a state of wallet.”

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This is why I like Premium Bonds - there’s a similar sense of ‘will I win this month?’

If it was weekly I am sure more people would get them - but the govt doesn’t care, they make lots of money through lotteries :triumph:

12% goes to the UK Government as lottery duty, 4% to retailers as commission, and a total of 5% to operator Camelot, with 4% to cover operating costs and 1% as profit.

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Banks are £85k per institution under FSCS… so you do have to be aware of multiple accounts or sometimes multiple accounts within the same group in the case that together they exceed this amount but yeah if your bank fails you are protected for way more than £10k.

Premium bonds are pretty good in many ways though, I had more or less forgotten they were even a thing.

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Ah that’s good Toby… not sure where I got the £10K figure from :lol:

Bonds are definitely worth a shot if you don’t mind the depreciation - much better than losing it altogether like you would in the lottery tho…

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