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The Oregon Lottery's Relationship With Problem Gamblers

OPB | Nov. 27, 2013 12:20 p.m. | Updated: Nov. 27, 2013 1:26 p.m.

four12, Flickr, Creative Commons

An investigative series by The Oregonian found the Oregon Lottery may be catering to gambling addicts. The paper doesn’t accuse the state agency of purposely feeding addiction, but it does draw on a recent internal study (pdf) of lottery data that reveals some troubling numbers. The study suggests the bulk of the revenue coming into state coffers from lottery players is coming from people who play video poker and slot machine games by themselves and only stop when they are out of money.

The Oregonian also points to the lottery’s 2014 marketing plan (pdf), which says the agency plans to “Modernize the Video Lottery program to provide a stable revenue source.” This includes a plan to find new ways to advertise video slots and poker games and replace existing machines with new models.

The lottery says these facts and figures don’t tell the whole story.

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