Lottery Funding for Public Works


While lotteries were banned in the United States in 1826, they were used by the government as a way to fund towns, wars, colleges, and public-works projects. Several American colonies used lottery proceeds to build Faneuil Hall in Boston and a battery of guns in Philadelphia. This tradition of lottery-fueled public works continues today. While the lottery is considered a form of gambling, it has many benefits, including the ability to promote popular products and services.

Lotteries raise money for towns, wars, colleges, and public-works projects

Lotteries have been around for centuries and have been used to fund entire towns. The Virginia Company, which established Jamestown in 1612, held a lottery in 1612, and Thomas Sharplisse won 4,000 crowns, a modest fortune. Other colonial lotteries raised money for private churches, colleges, and townships, and as many as 160 existed before the Revolutionary War. In some cases, lottery proceeds were diverted to the war effort.

They are a form of gambling

This study has some important implications for prevention strategies for pathological gambling. First, lottery gambling has a relatively low prevalence of treatment-seeking patients, as compared to other forms of gambling. Second, lottery gambling has a lower social acceptance level than other forms of gambling, which could explain the large divergence in prevalence. Third, lottery gamblers may not seek treatment because they underestimate the addictive potential of lottery tickets. Thus, they may progress to more harmful gambling forms before seeking treatment.

They are a growing threat to government programs

Although lottery games are often touted as a better alternative to other forms of taxation, these are actually one of the most dangerous kinds of taxation. They exploit the poor, the addicted, and the desperate in ways that are far from ideal. And the only way to make sure these tax-funded activities don’t harm the economy is to stop them completely. Here are some examples of how lottery funds can endanger government programs.