Daily Archives: July 21, 2008

A Loss Limit lesson – How the Missouri lottery demonstrates there are no winners, only losers

Casino Watch has explained what happens when you tie money for education to gambling: sometimes you see extra revenue go to schools but most of the time an elaborate shell game is played where the money never really reaches the intended target.  The Missouri Lottery was established with promises of money going to schools but where is the money going?  State Rep Belinda Harris of Hillsboro has been asking the same question:

With educational costs rising and the budget seemingly shrinking, people want to know if schools are really benefiting from gambling in Missouri, said state Rep. Belinda Harris, D-Hillsboro.

Harris believes that when people voted for gambling in Missouri, they were expecting to see larger amounts of cash flowing into their local schools, as is the case in Nevada and Mississippi, where gaming is much more prevalent.  “I think they feel misled,” she said. “They felt like it would solve the problem of funding education.”

Harris said in effect, education may have lost a little of its state funding when the gaming funds came into play.

Two things happen when money is allocated to education through gambling; general fund money seems to be displaced by the gambling money resulting in no net gain for education, and if less money is gambled away by the state there can be a net loss to education funding.  It is terribly tragic for a government to mandate losers and they will either make losers of the people by subjecting them to the horrors of gambling, or make losers of our children by denying them the money necessary to safeguard their educations.

We should never hold a child’s education hostage to gambling dollars and the initiative petition which seeks to remove the loss limit does just that.  A Yes vote is not a vote for schools, it’s a vote against our schools and it’s a vote against our families.