In a recent post about Hamilton's potential casino and its possible effects on Hamilton's poor I bantered the idea of trying to reduce lottery use amongst Hamilton's poorest citizens. There's an interesting CBC Hamilton article about Brantford's experience with their casino. I found these paragraphs interesting:
"The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction wants to be sure. The
roundtable is figuring out where it stands on the casino issue, Cooper
said. In doing so, it commissioned a study by local researcher Sarah
Wayland's study found that while low-income residents don't gamble as
often as medium and high-income households, they spend a
disproportionately higher percentage of their income on gambling, Cooper
“It also showed the closer someone lives to a casino, the greater
chance of someone going to a casino, so that would obviously have an
impact for residents in the downtown core,” he said.
Studies have found that low-income populations are more likely to buy
a lottery ticket or play bingo. But those who go to casinos “spend a
lot of money,” Wayland said."
So lotteries are more likely played by those with low incomes. That's not surprising, considering casinos aren't as ubiquitous as convenience stores selling lottery tickets, plus the minimums are often lower. Ameliorating money issues for those with low income would be best addressed by addressing lotteries. I don't think that casinos are a great thing for low income people, but since lotteries already exist, why not try and do something about them anyways?