This week KUAR published a news piece on the Arkansas Lottery’s efforts to address gambling addiction, writing,

[T]he lottery worked to receive the Responsible Gambling Certification from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and the National Council on Problem Gambling last summer.

[Lottery Director Bishop Woosley] said the lottery finished its certification in an effort to ensure the lottery doesn’t contribute to problem gambling in the state.  

The Arkansas Lottery working to address problem gambling is a little like the tobacco industry fighting against lung cancer.

According to the article, the Arkansas Lottery tries to be “responsible” in how it designs, advertises, and sells its lottery tickets to avoid giving people the impression that the Lottery is a way to get rich quick.

However, the Arkansas Lottery uses “get rich quick” messaging in its advertisements.

Just a couple of months ago the Arkansas Lottery unveiled a new advertisement for its Millionaires Club scratch-off ticket that says, “whatever your dreams are, you could unlock them” with this lottery ticket.

Here’s the ad:

The Arkansas Lottery’s slogan is “This Is Winning.”

And the Lottery makes a point of publishing the photographs of people who win large prizes from lottery tickets.

That kind of marketing is bound to give people the impression that the Arkansas Lottery is a way to hit it big.

The Arkansas Lottery also sells the most tickets, per capita, in some of Arkansas’ poorest counties.

Here are the ten counties with the highest lottery ticket sales, per capita, in February:

ARKANSAS $536,629.50 19,019 $28.22 17.9%
MONROE $211,575.00 8,149 $25.96 26.0%
DALLAS $197,212.50 8,116 $24.30 21.3%
NEVADA $213,333.50 8,997 $23.71 21.3%
HOWARD $323,264.00 13,789 $23.44 17.3%
PRAIRIE $204,300.50 8,715 $23.44 15.8%
POINSETT $567,786.50 24,583 $23.10 23.7%
UNION $940,397.50 41,639 $22.58 18.2%
OUACHITA $571,403.00 26,120 $21.88 23.3%
JACKSON $390,018.50 17,997 $21.67 25.6%

The bottom line: If the Arkansas Lottery wants to operate responsibly, it has a very long way to go.

Image Source: YouTube screenshot.