The proposed state budget released by the North Carolina Senate last night includes a provision that would allow the North Carolina Lottery to double the amount it spends on advertising. Section 5.3(b) of SB 257–Appropriations Act of 2017 would authorize the lottery to expend up to 2% of total lottery revenues on advertising costs, instead of the current limit of 1%. Based on an annual report for the 2015-16 fiscal year, this means the state lottery could spend over $23 million more next year, bringing the total annual advertising budget to over $46 million.
TAKE ACTION: We need your help to get this provision removed from the budget bill! Please visit the NC Family Action Center NOW to send an email to your State Senator asking him or her to remove this provision from the Senate budget proposal.
“The lottery already spends tens of millions annually to entice North Carolinians to throw away their hard-earned dollars on a government-sponsored ‘get rich quick scheme,’” said NC Family President John L. Rustin. “State-sponsored gambling causes a whole host of problems for our state’s citizens, and our state lawmakers should do what is best for North Carolina families and children by rejecting these efforts to expand lottery advertising.”
Research shows that lottery advertising exacerbates gambling addictions, especially among youth, ages 12 to 19. More problem and addicted gamblers translates into more occurrences of crime, divorce, theft, bankruptcy, domestic violence, child abuse, and even suicide. In addition, increased lottery advertising and sales are proven to hurt many of the people who can least afford to spend their hard-earned money on gambling. Studies show that lottery sales per adult are significantly higher—sometimes more than double the statewide average—in many of North Carolina’s poorest counties.
Please TAKE ACTION now to urge your State Senator to OPPOSE doubling the lottery advertising budget in North Carolina!