Economic pressure on states in the 1980s have led a number in this country to market lotteries in an unprecedentedly aggressive manner. This book was inspired by the author’s experience with the New Jersey state lottery during a period of major growth. Karcher examines lotteries from a historical, psychological, and philosophical perspective, offering a reflective and cogent explanation of their popularity. He looks at the fluctuating popularity of state-sponsored gambling and the consequent peaking and fattening of revenues, exposing the measures lottery commissions sometimes take in order to increase revenues.
Self policed lottery commissions, he predicts, will resort to marketing abuses and increasingly prey upon the poor if they are given unbridled power to act. Karcher suggests thoughtful, easily implemented, and constructive reforms. As more state governments inevitably turn to lotteries as a way out of tax dilemmas, this book will contribute to the public discourse on this important policy issue.