We all knew that, and it's in violation of the state Constitution, but of course the Oregon Lottery doesn't enforce their own "rules" and the Legislature is disinclined to take any action, either:
Legislation that would have labeled lottery-dependent retailers as casinos,House Bill 3316, died in a committee this year largely because of revenue concerns. Tomei's successor in Salem, Rep. Kathleen Taylor, D-Portland, told The Oregonian/OregonLive the change could have cost the state $83 million.
So-called "limited menu" purveyors — which pair wall-to-wall video gambling with cigarettes and bare-bones food options such as microwave burritos — have been free to flout state rules meant to keep retailers from earning more than half their sales from gambling, the audit found.
The problems are multiple: when Oregon voters agreed to an Oregon Lottery, we were told that it would involve only scratch-off tickets and that any revenue would go to fund schools and economic development. Oregon Lottery still sells scratch-offs, but some years ago they switched gears and devoted most of their resources to highly addictive video poker machines; something the voters had not agreed to during the initial sales pitch prior to the vote.
As well, the state saw a big pot of money rolling in from those things, and so - as they always will - they began diverting those revenues to other things. Today, the state is so dependent upon the lottery income that even the Democratics, who are always out there fighting for the little guy (to hear them tell it) absolutely refuse to rein Oregon Lottery in.
The fact that virtually all of the cash comes from low-income addicts who desperately hope for a big "win" doesn't seem to matter. Not when the state stands to lose out on $83 million a year.
"It was never the intent of the public to have little casinos all over the state. It's immoral."
Former Democrat Representative Carolyn Tomei is absolutely correct in her assessment; it's just too bad that she couldn't rally her fellow Democratics to the cause of reining the lottery in.
Microwaved burritos all around!