Lottery Policy


Lottery ipar4d is a form of gambling in which prizes are assigned by chance. Its popularity is due in part to its broad appeal: people purchase lottery tickets for the entertainment value and the potential non-monetary benefits that might accrue, such as avoiding a large financial loss or gaining a significant sum.

Despite these benefits, the public’s rational decision-making criteria in lottery playing is not well understood. In particular, it appears that state lottery revenues expand dramatically shortly after their introduction, then level off and eventually decline. This trend, in turn, spurs state officials to introduce new games, such as keno and video poker, in an attempt to maintain or increase these revenues.

The fact that many of these new games are based on the same principles as traditional lotteries may explain this phenomenon. Furthermore, lottery officials have not been able to develop an effective strategy for managing the escalating levels of player boredom and frustration that result from the constant introduction of new games.

In addition, state governments find it difficult to manage an activity from which they profit without losing the support of their broadest constituencies, including convenience store owners (the typical vendors for lotteries); suppliers (heavy contributions by these suppliers to state political campaigns are regularly reported); teachers (in states in which lottery proceeds are earmarked for education); and state legislators, who quickly become accustomed to the income generated by the lottery. As a result, few, if any, states have a coherent lottery policy.