On Monday July 13, 2015 there appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal an article entitled: “Defrauding the Nation’s Poor.” As I read the article I was intrigued and pleasantly surprised to hear mentioned, among other things, the exploitation of the poor through state lotteries. The article pointed out these statistics, “Studies in a number of states have shown that lottery ticket sales are concentrated in poor communities, that the poor spend a larger portion of their income on tickets, and that the poor are more likely to view the lottery as an investment.”It, of course, is not an investment but rather a pipe dream.
What is the moral objection to the lottery as well as other forms of gambling? It comes under the umbrella of covetousness. Or to use Paul’s statement: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) Why do people play the lottery? It’s for money, more money than they could ever think to earn. And if they win what do they get? Someone else’s hard earned money. Gambling is always an effort to get someone else’s money without earning it; and that’s pure, unvarnished covetousness.
Who is the main culprit in this arrangement? The State, of course — The State sets it up and then gets its portion of the loot as the poor are being defrauded. But the State is not the only culprit. What about the businesses that are involved in this racket. They too are guilty. They are unequally yoked together with the State in this scheme.