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A computer screen in Atlantic City NJ shows a 9-cent bet about to be made on an Internet gambling site on Nov. 21, 2013. Despite the initial glitches as New Jersey's Internet gambling era got underway last week, many gamblers say they're optimistic the kinks will get worked out and the fledgling industry will take off as online gambling gets opened up to the entire state as soon as Tuesday, Nov. 26. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry) ORG XMIT: MIN2013122316001900

Wayne Parry • Associated Press,

Letter of the Day (Dec. 26): State Lottery

  • December 25, 2013 - 2:00 PM

The Minnesota State Lottery confuses me. If private gambling is bad and highly regulated, why is state gambling good? (“Lottery’s online plan for games draws fire,” Dec. 22). Why do we have to expand our system ahead of federal regulation to limit it? If it is harmless entertainment, why can’t private companies offer it? If the lottery is just for fun, why is the state concerned about participation rates? Why do we need to expand to gas pumps, ATMs and the Internet to hook 18- to 24-year-olds? If expansion is such a great idea, why are there weekly limits on the amount you can spend; cooling-off periods, and funded treatment programs?

Certainly, the state relies on gambling revenue, but should it? Do we want schools, highways and parks funded by people chasing a get-rich-quick fantasy? Should the government be funded by voluntary gambling donations? Have we turned revenue collection over to a group of people who personally profit from gambling expansion?

I question Republican legislators’ concerns about the morality of expanding gambling while they are unwilling to raise taxes to collect revenue in more traditional means. Then, there are the Democrats who are content with gambling although it is a very regressive system. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

ROCHELLE EASTMAN, Savage

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