Another example of an obviously child-friendly lottery game, brought to you and your children by our friends at the Pennsylvania Lottery Commission.
Why does this bother me? Three reasons:
- I don’t like state-sponsored gambling in the first place. It seems to me that my state government could find better ways to fund its budget than by running a gambling enterprise.
- I really don’t like gambling that is accessible and appealing to kids. Accessible to kids? Yes, at vending machines in convenience, grocery and other stores throughout our lovely state. Appealing to kids? Yes, by using cartoonish images to make gambling look like a fun game rather than an addictive and harmful habit.
- Like all gaming operators, the state has an interest in making losers out of its customers (citizens and taxpayers), and in increasing sales. The state wants you to lose and to come back for more losing. The state wants to make a loser out of you.
I don’t think that I’d be as upset if the government were selling flowers, cars, bubble gum or widgets. But they’re not. They’re running a state-owned gambling enterprise that depends on return customers (addicts?) to fund programs for old folks (and a side question: can’t we provide for our senior citizens out of our gratitude, good will or sense of social responsibility, rather than our bad luck?). And then they go ahead and make these games look fun and safe by illustrating them with child-friendly cartoon images!
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get on the nerves of our friends at the Pennslvania Lottery Commission.