NC lawmaker: Prohibit lottery ticket sales for people who receive assistance

  • Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:12 a.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:12 a.m.

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers are discussing a draft proposal that would prohibit sales of lottery tickets to people who receive public assistance or who are in bankruptcy.

The Insider reports that Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake, said the measure is among several targeting the N.C. Education Lottery that may come up during the legislative session.

“We’re giving them welfare to help them live, and yet by selling them a ticket, we’re taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessities,” Stam said.

Stam it would be difficult for store clerks to know which players get help. But Stam suggested that in obvious cases, such as when customers pay for groceries with food stamps, they shouldn’t be allowed to buy lottery tickets at the same time.

Another proposal would remove the word “Education” from the N.C. Education Lottery for advertising purposes. Stam said the word “education” shouldn’t be used to sell “something that is essentially a scam,” especially because lottery proceeds account for a small percentage of state education funding.

“It’s just inappropriate to take what is a very important function of state government ... and use that as a selling point, when obviously the more educated you are, the less likely you are to play the lottery,” he said.

Stam said he believes many lottery ads are deceptive because they don’t state the probabilities of winning particular prize amounts. The lottery advertises large cash payouts, he said, but the actual prizes are smaller after taxes and other deductions. The fact that the lottery doesn’t give the actual values of prizes when advertising larger amounts is “just fraudulent,” he said.

Alice Garland, executive director of the lottery, said last week that she believed taking “Education” out of the title would cut into lottery sales.

Lottery spokesman Van Denton said officials haven’t fully reviewed all of the legislative proposals to gauge the impacts, but he did say the lottery tries to keep up with best practices in the industry, he said.

“We work hard to make sure players have the information they need to play the lottery ... and to make good choices about how to spend their money,” Denton said.

NC groups talk mobilizing efforts against voter ID

RALEIGH (AP) — Groups opposed to likely legislation at the General Assembly this year requiring North Carolina citizens to show identification before voting in person already are rolling out a plan to fight it.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina and others scheduled a Legislative Building news conference Wednesday to unveil organizing efforts against voter ID proposals.

Republican legislative leaders say a bill requiring government-issued photo identification will be considered. GOP lawmakers in 2011 passed an ID bill vetoed by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue. New Republican Gov. Pat McCrory supports photo ID to vote.

The groups say their mobilization efforts will include a public service announcement and web site. They’ll also lay out their case against photo ID at Wednesday’s news conference.

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