Critics Call Out U.S. Lottery System, Says It Preys on Poor Black and Brown Communities
Researchers are claiming the U.S. lottery system is using systematic racism to target low-income communities.
On Wednesday, CNN spoke with critics who believe the lottery aggressively markets to select communities to sell tickets at a higher rate. The critics claim that despite the extremely low chance of winning, state lotteries are misleading poor Americans to believe they can generate immediate wealth.
"These communities are disproportionately made up of Black and Brown people. Critics say the consequence is that marginalized people will be driven into deeper debt by a system that is transferring wealth out of their communities," CNN reporters say.
According to researchers, low-income communities are spending more money on the lottery than wealthier communities. To add, a large portion of their funds are going to instant scratch-off tickets versus the Powerball drawings.
The critics also mention how stores are more likely to sell lottery tickets in poor communities in every state. The money that states receive from the lottery is rarely circulating back into communities but rather into colleges and higher-income school districts.
Nevertheless, author Jonathan Cohen disagrees with the critics' racial angle. He claims that the lottery typically seems to have more players whenever the economy is suffering.
"And for folks who, especially Black and Brown Americans, maybe face discrimination in the traditional economy. Well, the lottery doesn't discriminate. Anyone has just as terrible odds of winning," Cohen says.
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