The Kentucky Baptist Convention is once again fighting the expansion of gambling in the state of Kentucky. “Year after year, a small group of Kentucky politicians pushes to expand gambling in Kentucky, promising that it will be an economic boon – and it will be … to the casino operators eager to cash in on the misery of our fellow Kentuckians.”
Similar efforts by religious groups in other states also take center stage.
Taxation and government expansion are far more debilitating compared to the disproportionately smaller number of people that gamble. Our current welfare and tax confiscation system has created more poor people than gambling has.
I would like to see the Kentucky Baptist Convention tackle the rise of government power as well as Christians who attend churches in the convention that send their children to government schools funded by confiscated tax dollars.
Which is more sinful? For other people to gamble or for the State to take money from some people so they can give it to other people?
People only suffer the ill effects of gambling if they gamble. If you don’t gamble, you won’t lose any money gambling. If you don’t eat more calories than you burn, you won’t get fat. Like almost all social conditions, personal responsibility is the key.
No one is forcing anybody to gamble or eat more food. But people elected to office by people who do gamble want these politicians to take money from you and me and give it to them.
Which is more sinful and has the greatest negative impact on the greatest number?
Gambling is for fools. More people lose than win. If it were any different, it wouldn’t be gambling. The people who make the money are the people who build the gambling establishments and the states that reap the tax revenues.
Lotteries offer similar results. Most people are net losers. If they weren’t, the states that set up lotteries wouldn’t be making billions of dollars a year in after-tax money from people who play the lottery. And who are these people? Mostly it’s those who can’t afford to play and have no problem voting for people who will raise taxes that they will not have to pay.
Consider the following results from a South Carolina study:
- Blacks made up 19.7 percent of the state’s adult population but accounted for 23.2 percent of lottery players and 38.4 percent of frequent players.
- People in households earning under $40,000 accounted for 28 percent of the state’s population, 31.3 percent of lottery players and 53.4 percent of frequent players.
- People with no high school diploma accounted for 8.9 percent of the state’s population, 10.5 percent of lottery players and 20.8 percent of frequent players.
- People whose highest educational achievement is a high school diploma or GED made up 25.1 percent of the total population, 24.3 percent of lottery players and 33.3 percent of frequent players.
South Carolina’s 2008 lottery study showed that more than 50 percent of Pick 3 and Pick 4 players were black.
Similar statistics were found for Texas.
“Players making under $12,000 a year spent three times as much as those pulling in over $100,000 and nearly double those making between $75,000 and $100,000. ($19 a month for the under $12,000 respondents, vs. $6 a month for those over $100,000; and $10 for those earning between $75,000 and $100,000.)
High school dropouts who reported playing at least one game within the past year spent nearly three times as much as those with graduate degrees and almost as much as those with some college.
Everybody knows that lower income people use a higher percentage of their discretionary income to play the lottery.
I would like to see the income tax replaced with a national lottery. Given the statistics on who pays taxes and who plays the lottery, taxation would be more equally distributed. And because I’ve never played the lottery, I wouldn’t be paying any income tax.