Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taxing the mathematically challenged

As the state lottery celebrates its 20th anniversary, it faces more than a challenge from State Senator Fred Risser:

When the Wisconsin Constitution was amended 21 years ago to allow the lottery, opponents added restrictions that ban Internet sales, which other states increasingly are allowing.

"I have an off-line product, and it's an online world," state Lottery Director Mike Edmonds said. "It's another example of laws not being able to keep up with technology."

To offer lottery games online, the state would have to return to voters to amend its constitution, a process that could take several years.

A national gaming expert, University of Nevada-Las Vegas professor William Thompson, said other state lotteries are turning to the Internet to maintain or boost sales.

"It is the next phase in lottery development," he said.

If the state lottery can't keep up because of online gaming, then it's time to get the government out of the lottery business, a business it had no reason to get into in the first place. Abolish the lotteries, challenge the tribal casinos, and get rid of the corrupting influence of gambling on our state's politics.

(Ht: Owen)