Should North Carolina go ahead with the proposal to ban the poorest and most vulnerable from playing the lottery then some individuals will have the right to bear arms but not to buy a lottery ticket!
There are reports that republican representatives of the North Carolina government are considering a ban on people who receive welfare or in bankruptcy from playing the lottery. Retailers will be asked to not to sell them tickets and knowingly selling them will lead to punishment.
The rationale for such a ban is based on the belief that it would be wrong to take money off welfare recipients who are struggling to make ends meet. State House Majority Leader Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam said:
“We’re giving them welfare to help them live, and yet by selling them a ticket, we’re taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessitiesâ€¦the lottery is essentially a scam.”
The right to choose?
Is the lottery a tax on the poor, the uneducated, and the elderly? Are these groups more likely to buy lottery tickets? Many people have the point of view that it is. According to North Carolina Policy Watch the poorest parts of North Carolina spend the most per capita on lottery tickets. Lottery ticket buyers have almost no chance of winning the jackpot, despite this ticket sales have been breaking records.
Protecting vulnerable people is an admirable sentiment but shouldnâ€™t all citizens of the United States of America have the freedom to choose how to spend their money?
Putting store clerks at risk!
This aside, the proposed ban would prove very difficult to enforce and could be damaging to retailers. Players will find a way around it by asking family or friends to play on their behalf. The most worrying consequence of this proposal is the increased risk store clerks will be exposed to. They are the ones who will have to tell a customer they canâ€™t buy a ticket. We donâ€™t support this proposal and believe there are better ways to address the issue. What do you think?