Critics Target Texas Lottery
The Texas state lottery is under fire from the NAACP and other critics who claim the lottery preys on the poor and vulnerable members of society. The NAACP's Dallas chapter recently called for an end to the Texas Lottery, on the grounds that it unfairly targets and markets to poor minorities. Longtime lottery watchdog Dawn Nettles, who publishes the Lotto Report, says the NAACP has a point.
"The lottery does prey on the poor," she tells KTRH. "There's no ifs, ands or buts about that."
Nettles stops short of calling for abolishing the lottery, but is leaning in that direction. She is currently finishing a study on the effects of the lottery's most popular game, scratch tickets, and how they hook poor people with the lure of easy money.
"You're looking at people that are desperate for money," she says.
"They're looking for a quick fix, and that's what they do with those scratch tickets." Nettles would like to see those "quick fix" games reigned in, or she might be joining the NAACP's effort. "If action is not taken on the seriousness of my findings, then I'm gonna be jumping on the bandwagon with everybody else to shut the lottery down."
The Texas Lottery Commission denies any discriminatory marketing practices. Officials estimate the lottery has brought in $20 billion in revenue for the state since it was established in 1992, with much of that going to fund schools. But Nettles and other critics claim that money comes from those who can least afford it.
"What they do to the consumers is wrong, they take advantage of them, and it's gotta stop."