State lotteries :a study of an attempt at decriminalization of deviant behavior


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Purpose: The objectives of this study were: (1) to determine state lotteries, as they are currently operated, possess the potential to compete with illegal lottery operations (numbers, policy and bolita), (2) to gather and systematically present meaningful information on the operation and potential of state lotteries, (3) to present recommendations for improving the operation of state lotteries and (4) to determine if legalization of this type of gambling solved any problems associated with deviant behavior in the form of illegal lotteries. Methods: An extensive review of the literature on legal and illegal lotteries, as well as information from statutes, reports, audits and personal communications with several states provided the necessary material for a descriptive analysis of both a typical numbers game and the state lottery operations in New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey. A comparative analysis of the state lotteries and the illegal lotteries was conducted. Findings: 1. The comparative analysis indicates that the numbers game would be more attractive to the average gambler than the state lotteries. 2. The numbers game provides a form of recreation, companionship and community involvement as well as an outlet for the frustrations of those in the lower strata of society. 3. Laws proscribing illegal lotteries act as Crime Tariffs, thereby insuring a monopoly for organized crime and encouraging corruption of police and public officials. 4. The dual goals of state lotteries, i.e., producing revenue for the state and reducing crime by competing with organized crime for the gamblers money are not compatible goals. 5. There is no evidence to indicate the the state lotteries have had an impact whatsoever on the numbers racket. 6. The state lotteries have been only moderately successful in raising revenue for the states. 7. State lotteries do not represent legalization of the numbers game, but rather the creation of a new and different form of gambling.



Lotteries--United States., Gambling--United States.