Thursday, April 21, 2005

Marketing the Lottery to Kids

With North Carolina headed toward a state lottery, a lottery that's justified and praised for what good it can do for our kids by providing increased funding for education, here's an example of how a lottery can be damaging to our youth: . . .

Michelle Malkin reports on her blog this morning about the Washington state lottery, and how it uses the video game character Pac Man and other cartoon characters to market its scratch-off lottery games, which are available in easily accessible vending machines.

Michelle also links to the Washington State Council on Problem Gambling, which cites a lottery-sponsored study reporting that thousands of Washington adolescents are considered "problem gamblers" and that tens of thousands more are at risk. Michelle asks, "Does anyone believe these kids are helped by the presence of vending machines containing Pac Man scratch cards?"

She goes on to compare this situation with R.J. Reynolds' marketing of cigarettes with a cartoonish Joe Camel back in the 1990s, which led to Reynolds dropping the ads. Relatedly, cigarette vending machines were banned in most public places shortly thereafter.

Here in North Carolina, Joe Camel's home state, lottery proponents continue to believe that a state-sponsored lottery will be windfall for North Carolina and its children. If they sincerely believe that, it only goes to reason that they would also think it appropriate to encourage kids to buy tickets. After all, what's the harm? At least their hard-earned allowance money would be going toward a good cause, right?

I'm praying that somehow, someway, North Carolina will continue to be the exception rather than the rule and not have a state lottery.


At Sunday, April 24, 2005 11:38:00 PM, Anonymous Chip Atkinson said...

Great post! (Michelle Malkin is my favorite blogger.) I agree that the lottery is bad, but I fear the battle is lost. When the lottery is marketed as a free college education- we've lost!

I get furious at the alcohol commercials because they show really young, beautiful adults (with really witty scripts) who live to drink. Bars are never smoky, parties are crowded, dates revolve around drinking.

My daughter went to Caldwell for 2 years. She's a senior at Page and will attend Carolina (not free) in the fall. Check out my site as well!

PS. I got a hat tip from Michelle last week!

At Monday, April 25, 2005 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Steadman Harrison said...

Mickey ~ you have a great blog here. Thanks for stopping by The Christian Guy Next Door and leaving a comment. I'm pleased to have been introduced to your site. You have a real gift for touching on topics both broad and deep. I'll be back to read more and hope some more folks find you via the link from my page.

Blessings to you ~ Steadman


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