The Corner

Lotteries

Ramesh, while it is possible to raise the usual theoretical objections to almost any form of state monopoly, I think that it’s going too far to describe state lottery monopolies as ‘unfair’. Any damage to consumers from the lack of competition is likely to be negligible. The only people who seem to suffer are would-be lottery entrepreneurs. Again, theoretically, that may be an outrageous assault on the free market, but I doubt that it’s one that, practically speaking, matters too much. On the money-raising point, I suspect that government would just go ahead and find the cash from some other source. It always seems to – just ask Nurse Bloomberg. To the extent that state-sponsored lotteries reduce the need for additional state-sponsored taxes, that’s fine with me.

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