Issue Number 8- No Guarantee All Lottery Revenue will “Come Home” to North Carolina

North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy today released Issue Number 8 of its ongoing effort to educate elected officials and citizens on why a government-run lottery is bad business and public policy.

When the lottery fails to meet revenue goals, it will create a deficit spending situation in our budget that ultimately destabilizes our economy.

Proponents claim North Carolina is losing revenue because people are spending their money in other states buying lottery tickets. They claim that money North Carolinians spend on the Virginia lottery is being used to pay for education in Virginia not North Carolina. They argue the only way to guarantee this will not happen is for North Carolina to adopt its only lottery. This simply is wrong thinking.

If North Carolina were to have a lottery there is no guarantee all of the money spent by North Carolinians in other states, estimated at over $86.5 million, will return to the state. Many people who live close to the Virginia border may continue to buy their lottery tickets in Virginia, or will split their money between the two states.

“We should be cautious in betting that every dollar spent in Virginia will automatically come back to North Carolina,” said North Carolina CSE Director Jonathan Hill. “If that money does not materialize and we project our spending based on that revenue, it will create a deficit spending situation in our budget that will ultimately destabilize our economy. I don’t think that is what we want to do”