OAKLANDShould the state of Michigan be the only entity able to run the numbers game? Or should companies be able to run lotteries in the state as well?
The latter, according to the Oakland Press. In a recent editorial commenting on the findings of the National Gambling Impact Commission, the Press claims that "the essentially insidious aspect of a state lottery is that it is a monopoly." The Press believes this is what engenders such a huge pool of ticketholdersmost of them poorand makes the chances of winning so outlandishly small.
The Commission found that while poor peoplewho should be saving their moneyare the biggest source of income to state lotteries, the money lotteries actually bring in makes no great difference to state budgets. "To make matters worse, the states heavily advertise the lotteries and place a misleading focus on the rare multimillion-dollar winners," the Press complains. "Michigan is in the liquor business, but it doesn't tout drinking."
"The Michigan lottery and others ought to be privatized," the Press concludes. "Private competitors ought to be allowed to participate. The casinos are private, not state-owned. Tax the proceeds as with any other business. You can be sure of one thing: The odds would be better in a hurry."