You’re Nothing but a Number to the Lottery

I listened to a story on the radio the other day about the “strength” of the Tennessee State Lottery, which, by the way, actually has a “Duck Dynasty” scratch off game. But anyways, according to the story the Tennessee State Lottery is “enjoying” the strongest growth among all state lotteries in the ole’ US of A. Truth be told, the state lottery made $1.37 billion in a downturned, struggling 2013 Tennessee economy. Yup! Pretty interesting; or should I say pretty sad?

The interview eventually included a few audio quotes given by the lottery’s commissioner/president/CEO/boss, who actually has an award named after her by the Public Gaming Research Institute, giving her point of view of the financially booming lottery system in Tennessee. In one of the quotes she bragged about how every state lottery, three in total, that she began and maintained with her “leadership” experienced growth – all 28 years in a row. You could hear the joy and excitement and pride in her voice.

But to me there should be no joy or no excitement or no pride about the “achievements” of any state lottery. It’s nothing but a predatory system that preys off of the poor. Study after study has revealed that the neighborhoods and communities with the lowest median income have the highest rates of sales for the lottery systems. But yet the system shows no shame, only reminding people to “play responsibly” and to call the toll-free number listed on the back if they think they have a problem.

Well I have a problem! I have a problem with people making hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking 2 and 3 dollars at a time out of the pockets of the impoverished and impressionable people who are constantly pounded with the importunities of the lottery’s TV and radio commercials! They incessantly present wining as easy and as a dream come true. And they’re right to one extent – people are dreaming if they think they’re going to get rich off of playing the lottery.

Some may say, “But Eugene, the lottery awards money to its winners and in the grand scheme of things it’s all for the children and their education.” To that I say, “Garbage!” The lottery worries about nothing other than itself. People are nothing but a number in the system. Numbers that must be maintained so salaries can be filled; and I’m talking about salaries that the average lottery player wishes they could win! And education? If the state was so concerned about education then they could do more with the money that they tax the people with already!

The average person who plays the lottery isn’t thinking about the education of others. They aren’t interested in going to school – they’re getting schooled every time they buy a ticket. And it’s a lesson in economics that the system is willing to teach over and over and over to people who won’t learn.

Lotteries are all about the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie – the lotteries are in it for the money, not for you!

He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16)

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#gambling, #gaming, #lottery, #love-of-money, #oppressing-the-poor, #poor, #rich

Should A Christian Gamble?

Gambling is a topic that should be taken more seriously than the way some Christians take it. Some look at it as an optional activity that is left up to the individual, but the Bible teaches otherwise.

Yes, I know that you can’t find any scripture that condemns gambling specifically, but you better believe that the scriptures condemn the principles that surround it as well as the ones that it produces.

A person is right when they say, “Thou shalt not gamble” isn’t found in the Old Testament but God taught His people in Leviticus 19:36 to “…have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin (measuring devices).” Gambling is inherently deceptive. It makes you think that you have a better chance at winning than what you really do. The only thing honest about gambling is that it is honestly meant to take your money.

Not even when you read through the New Testament letters will you find one time that any writer specifically tells you not to gamble, but you will read scriptures that warn against greed, covetousness and other fleshly desires to gain material wealth and their reward (1st Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 4:19 and 1st Timothy 6:9).

Gambling is a not so harmless “game” and vacuum that millions get sucked into every year. Have you ever noticed that the gambling industry rarely uses the word “gambling”??? They call it gaming. That sounds harmless doesn’t it?  Pick the right horse or play the game of chance they say. Hmmm. It is amazing what some people will leave up to luck. By the way, how well did that “luck” work out for the rabbit?

Untold numbers of people end up at the end of their rope seeking help from the 1-800 numbers found around every gambling based city and on the back of lottery tickets. When you must have the Alcoholic’s Anonymous equivalent organization called Gambler’s Anonymous around to help people who are suffering and damaging themselves, not to mention the untold damage to their families, how can anyone call gambling harmless?

State based lotteries have gambling down to thier own art form. I wish these lotteries would show the pictures of all the people who bought tickets and lost as much as they do the winners. But everybody likes a winner, right? Imagine how much money the lottery organization actually took in to be able to give that winner’s amount much away. After all, they have bills to pay too!

At the end of the day, is it any wonder that the “gambling capital” of America is also known as “sin-city?” Now do I really have to answer the above title or do you get the point?  EA

#christian-living, #desire-riches, #gambling, #gaming, #lottery, #temperance