Powerball coming to California

powerball.jpgThe Lottery Commission says that the state can generate up to $120 million a year from the popular game - made all the more popular after Wednesday's $587-million jackpot. Tickets go on sale in April. Here's the LAT story. Meanwhile, you still hear questions - and criticism - about where and how the money is used. From NBC:

About 72 cents of every state lottery dollar goes somewhere else. About 60 cents goes to the winner. Some goes to run the lottery. A piece of it goes to a private, Italian-based conglomerate that operates lotteries and slot machines in 50 countries around the world. Depending on what state you live in, that leaves as little as 11 cents left to pay for the government services these games were created to help. Critics argue that, aside from being an inefficient way to raise money, paying for government services with lottery sales also shifts a larger portion of the overall tax burden to those who can least afford it. "It's a very regressive tax," said Lucy Dadayan, a senior policy analyst at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. "And any time a government relies on a regressive tax it's not the best policy option. But it's easier for state officials to promote gambling rather than to increase income taxes or sales taxes."

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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