No one can deny that the game of roulette should no longer be considered a popular “get-rich-quick” option for high-income, politically connected individuals. The game is no longer considered a “reward” for winning, but rather, a form of economic self-surveillance, an insidious form of oppression, where the elite are able to leverage economic opportunities and power to enrich themselves even if it results in them losing out on the rewards that come with participating in a game of games. The game of roulette has been replaced by video poker, a financial instrument that allows those with limited money to make more money by making bets for the sake of taking larger amounts of money from others—and when all or part of the bet has gone sour, the remaining amount goes to the government along with more taxpayer money and/or additional taxes.
The game of roulette has been replaced by video poker, a financial instrument that allows those with limited money to make more money by making bets for the sake of taking larger amounts of money from others. And by adding a large sum of money to each bet, the game has become much more lucrative than before.
The game of roulette’s new players, who make less than 25 percent of the market, make a lot of money out of this new form of economic surveillance. This has led to a proliferation of video poker machines to replace roulette, with millions of these video poker machines currently running in casinos around the country. In the past, roulette players spent $1 million each month simply to play roulette as opposed to paying $200 to get into the game. Today, millions of gamers in gaming-savvy American cities have access to a lot of online gambling in ways they never had in the past. This has created a big payday for those who run roulette machines to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month betting on video poker. It’s not as if this money would be going into some form of legitimate, legitimate tax and spending scheme for a government or private corporation, but instead, it is going to a financial surveillance system controlled by a few powerful gaming companies.
This trend of casino game play is even more ominous in light of that famous quote by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who said that, “The idea [that Americans can win the lottery] is a lie. We can’t. We can’t.” The government’s actions are a clear violation of that notion, and it is becoming increasingly evident that the people’s choice to participate in gambling makes for a highly dangerous public situation for public safety in general, and for the lottery in particular.
As of today, the government has been playing what appears to be a particularly big role in the success of all lottery gambling games, all with the blessing of their federal taxpayer sponsors. This includes an unprecedented effort in Nevada to allow the winning numbers of the $100 million Lotto Seven jackpot to be distributed exclusively to its citizens by the government, and a proposal to allow a lottery winner to place an additional $350,000 bet when the winning jackpot is $500,000 and less than $50,000.
In the past several months, the government has also tried, in unprecedented and unusual ways, to help states and municipalities raise the amount allowed for local lottery games in Nevada. For example, on October 28, 2013, a federal appeals court in Virginia struck down the law in that state banning such federal support for the establishment of local government and political subdivisions based on the amount of lottery winnings in a state or town. The state’s highest court, however, stayed the lower court’s ruling before it appealed. The current status of gambling-related federal funding in Nevada remains uncertain, as the State has proposed changes to the current law in a number of states, but these have been blocked by the Supreme Court, as well as by other federal appeals courts.
It is extremely critical that the people of all 50 states have the ability to determine the amount of aid that federal tax dollars should give each year to local political subdivisions—and this includes the right choices of states to refuse to provide such tax dollars in certain circumstances.
What if you think you can win $500 million by playing a lottery? Call your elected officials today and tell them this very truth: The government has decided to spend hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress and the people of Congress had earmarked to the States for public education, economic development, and public health in order to ensure that those Americans who play lottery games do not have to work 40 hours a week as minimum wage, as well as being subject to mandatory health insurance coverage of their families during their working days.
As of 2011, lottery programs in 26 states provided roughly $11,500 per person in basic health care to the lowest fifth of all Americans. And according to a study done by the Guttmacher Institute in 2007, the federal government had spent roughly $14.5 billion in the past six years to cover these poor families.