Oregon Lottery has stopped running ads aimed at directing gambling addicts to treatment options. Although some 81,000 people here are estimated to have the pathology, the state's cash cow has redirected ads from intervention options to ads that emphasize the fun of playing video poker - along with the need to set a budget and a time limit. They claim that an Oregon DoJ ruling leaves them little choice.
Be that as it may, the lottery was established as a set of scratch-off tickets with the stated goal of using any revenues thus generated for economic development and education. It seems doubtful that many who voted in favor at the time envisioned its metamorphosis into highly addictive online slot machines, video poker, and Keno, and it's worth noting as well that of the estimated 81,000 pathological gamblers in the state, only a tiny percentage seek treatment. In many cases, the only effective "treatment" appears to involve gambling themselves into insolvency and homelessness or worse.
My Bride's former boss allegedly suffers from this addiction; currently under indictment on 14 felony charges, she allegedly diverted funds from two nonprofit organizations, forged financial instruments, and diverted income tax withholding funds from staff paychecks to her personal account in order to feed the habit. That's but one of the estimated 81,000 stories out there; it doesn't affect merely the individual, but their families, their communities, and countless others via the ripple effect.
Ever tried to do your tax returns without a W-2 to document the cash that came out of paychecks but never quite made it to the federal and state departments of revenue? It's quite a treat. They require damned near everything but copies of monthly x-rays of your dog.
It's really past time to revisit the whole state lottery thing, but unfortunately, that's going to be virtually impossible because the state, naturally, has come to rely upon the millions of dollars "generated" primarily from their flashing light-boxes. Take a look at the screen: "PLAY 5 CREDITS", it urges. That's a buck and a quarter. Feed in another twenty; better luck next time.