The Arkansas Lottery announced this week that it will roll out 46 new instant games in the next year and revise its existing Million Dollar Raffle, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
We’ve said since the lottery was first pitched in 2008: State-run lotteries start strong, but soon begin to decline, and the only solution lottery officials can offer is new games to keep people interested.
The Arkansas Lottery is no different. Lottery ticket sales fell short by millions of dollars this past year, and lottery officials are turning to the only thing that keeps lotteries afloat: More gambling.
We have seen this play out in other states before. The only thing different about Arkansas is the Arkansas Lottery has rolled out more gambling more quickly than any other state we’re aware of. For instance, the State of Tennessee took a few years to go from one lottery game to five games; the Arkansas Lottery is planning to roll out one new game almost every week, on average, for a whole year–and our lottery is only four years old.
We’ve said before that the place this ultimately leads is electronic gambling and what more or less amount to state-run casinos. Arkansas has been no different from any other state when it comes to lottery problems, and there’s no reason to think the solutions lottery officials try to offer will be any different either.
Below is a video we published on this topic in 2009:
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.