The State Senate version of the proposed budget plan being discussed in Raleigh includes provisions that would expand state lottery advertising and operations, including the sale of online scratch-off tickets. Page 10 of the 504-page Senate budget proposal would authorize a 50 percent expansion in lottery advertising, from 1 percent of annual lottery revenues to 1.5 percent, which represents a potential increase of over $9 million in additional lottery ads. In addition, the Senate budget anticipates new revenue of $15.5 million over the next two years from the sale of “E-Instant Games,” which are equivalent to online scratch-off tickets.
“The North Carolina Family Policy Council opposes the Senate’s proposed version of the budget that would increase potential lottery advertising by 50 percent,” said John L. Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “We are also very disturbed by the expectation that the state lottery will take in over $15 million during the next two years from new ‘E-instant games.’ The constant expansion of government-sponsored gambling, especially into the realm of online ticket sales, will inevitably exacerbate gambling addiction and its destructive effects on the citizens and families of North Carolina.”
Because the North Carolina lottery does not currently offer online scratch-off tickets, and the state lottery commission has not approved the utilization of online “E-Instant Games,” it appears that some Senate budget leaders are driving this initiative. In essence, if this provision is approved in the final budget, the General Assembly will direct the state lottery to implement these online lottery games.
TAKE ACTION: Please contact your State House and Senate members and ask him or her to remove these pro-gambling lottery provisions from the Senate budget proposal.
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