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Oregon Lottery brings good luck to no one, should be eliminated

While I am never happy to see someone lose their job, Governor Kate Brown did the right thing in releasing Jack Roberts from his position as the Oregon Lottery Director.

The Oregon lottery is an abomination on the state of Oregon. What did voters actually vote for when they voted the lottery in over 30 years ago? Video poker? No. Video slot machines? No. Keno? No. Mega Millions, the multi-state lottery game? No. Powerball? No.

Lottery officials like to throw their hands in the air and say that the legislature is responsible for the various games the lottery runs, which is true, so the mess the Oregon lottery has become falls on the Oregon Legislature as well. Lottery gaming is a regressive form of taxation that will always ruin more lives than it ever helps.

Is the lottery a cash cow? Yes. Is it ruinous to people with addictive personalities in our society? Yes. There are proven studies that show the largest amounts of revenue from the lottery are created by a small pool of lottery players, folks who fall into the problem gaming category.

All the happy Oregon Lottery ads that say how much good the lottery does are embarrassing; the last ad with the pioneer settlers was an insult to Native Americans everywhere. Is it really a wonder that Roberts is no longer head of the Oregon Lottery?

What Oregon voted for, and what the lottery is today, is basically illegal, and another example of how Salem refuses to listen to the will of the voters. If the governor really wanted to make a difference, she would scale the lottery back to what voters voted on — a twice a week drawing and few scratch-it style tickets.

It is also common knowledge that strip mall video poker/slot parlors do not earn more than half of their revenue from food or beverage sales — another rule that the current lottery administration completely manages to ignore. The list of lottery failures goes on and on and on.

Let’s hope the new director and governor clean up this lottery mess once and for all. For many of us, getting rid of it in its entirety would be the best route to go.

James Maass is a Beaverton resident.