When voters passed a measure allowing Oregon Lottery, the only items under discussion were scratch-off tickets, with proceeds to be used for "economic development". But the door was now opened, and as government agencies generally do, the Lottery Commission expanded. They introduced Keno, and then video poker. Even so, the stakes were relatively low, perhaps $5 for Keno, and the same for video poker. And then they expanded video poker: suddenly, the machines were able to accept bills from $1 to $10, and then to $20. But of course, slots were completely out of the question, as the approved measure specifically banned "casino"-type games.The result is ruined lives and a state community now dependent on feeding people's vices in order to pay for lots of different public programs. Max:
Evidently, the Agency found a way around that, even as they further modified their machines to accept $100 bills. And of course, the money now goes to almost anything except economic development; tv ads show "restored" steams and habitat, done with Lottery money. It's become a giant piggy-bank, and the state's grown utterly dependent upon the money stream generated by a small group of videogame campers, pouring money in just for the high.
Marriages are ruined, lives are destroyed; destitute, some people become suicidal, yet the Oregon Lottery works very diligently toward a goal of ever-increasing cash extraction. What at first seemed fairly innocuous, and perhaps even helpful, has morphed into something that is so perverse that the sole justification for its continued existence is the desire of politicians to build monuments to themselves. And ya can't do that without money.Public greed is not that much different than private greed. Except that it can affect a much bigger public at a much deeper level with no prospect of the community stepping in to stop the personal destruction.
Kudos to the Oregonian and Harry Esteve for doing real shoe-leather reporting on this and publishing the incriminating results for current Oregon state policy.