The state of Oregon makes staggering profits by urging citizens to squander their money on Powerball, Megabucks, scratch tickets, Keno and especially, video machines. Those machines provide 86% of the state’s gambling revenue, and The Oregonian cites shocking studies showing “the biggest chunk of video-lottery players park in front of a machine and gamble alone until all their money is gone.”
These problem gamblers ruin their lives with their addiction, while state government makes a net profit of more than $850 million each year–-averaging more than $500 from each Oregon household.
Conservatives understand that government will often fail when it tries to encourage virtue, but it can prove ruthlessly effective at promoting self-destructive vice. We can’t count on bureaucrats to make our lives better but that doesn’t give them the right to make our lives worse.