The Oregon Lottery operates about 12,000 video lottery machines throughout the state. Overall, the state lottery brings in half a billion dollars a year to the state budget — money that goes to schools, parks, and environmental stewardship. Oregon Lottery director Jack Roberts acknowledges the agency must strike a delicate balance: make money for the state and make sure it’s doing that in a way that doesn’t encourage problem gambling.
The Oregon Lottery is replacing its machines with newer ones that let the user play more games at once and bet less on each game. Gambling recovery advocates like Wes Wood are concerned problem gamblers will be drawn to these games.
We’ll talk with Roberts and Wood about the new video lottery machines and the steps the state is taking to help gambling addicts get the help they need.