Categorized | News


Another Spot On Post by:
Elwood E. “Sandy” Sanders, Jr.
Reason TV, Tertium Quids and the Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia report that the new Governor Robert McDonnell wants to privatize the state liquor stores.  Here’s the Reason TV video:

I agree!  I do not intend to condone the use or abuse of liquor; I do not drink alcohol in any form.  But it is not a governmental function.  The ABC stores should be sold and extra revenue raised from the private dealers (with appropriate safety and zoning regulation) applied to essential government needs like education.

But I urge the Governor not to stop there:  Sell the lottery, too.

The state lottery, that “benefits” education, is a form of gambling run by a state agency under the authority of the statutes and state constitution.  Gambling is not inherently sinful but is discouraged by most evangelical denominations.  But there are social costs associated with gambling.  This book published by the Cambridge University Press by an expert (formerly on the faculty of the University of Illinois now Distinguished Professor of Economics at Baylor University) asserts that the social costs of gambling is half that of drug abuse.  Professor Earl L. Grinols suggests that:
The social costs of gambling, such as increased crime, lost work time, bankruptcies and financial hardships faced by the families of gambling addicts, have reached epidemic proportions, costing the economy as much as $54 billion annually, Earl L. Grinols, an Illinois economist, has written in “Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits,” published this month by Cambridge University Press.
This compares with the estimated annual $110 billion cost of drug abuse, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office.
While the emphasis was on casino gambling, the state lottery certainly places the state in the position of both encouraging gambling and also making it socially acceptable, even desirable (I’m helping education!).  There was a commercial in the Commonwealth of Virginia that had teachers and classrooms shown to encourage playing the lottery.
Try this source:  Dr. Patrick Briney, Ph.D., President of the Arkansas Republican Assembly.  Dr. Briney wrote that the social costs of the lottery outweigh the benefits:

  • State sponsored lotteries promote problem gambling (Richard Huddleston, 2002. An Arkansas Lottery, A Bad Bet for Education & Families?).
  • Research shows, “… that the lottery is a powerful recruiting device, which is responsible for inducing about one-quarter of the adult population who would not otherwise have done so to participate in commercial gambling.” Lotteries create gamblers who otherwise may never have gambled. (Clotfelter and Cook, Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press) 1991 pg. 105).
  • Dr. Lance Dodes, who runs Massachusetts’ largest outpatient treatment center for problem gamblers says that lottery players comprise 44% of his patients. (Golden, Daniel and Halbfinger, David, “Lottery Addiction Rises and Lives Fall” Boston Globe, February 11, 1997).
  • 43% of all callers to the national 1-800-GAMBLER hotline indicated problems with lottery gambling. (Council on Compulsive Gambling, “1995 Statistics for 1-800-GAMBLER Hotline” March 20, 1996)
  • 39% of persons who entered publicly funded alcohol and drug treatment centers in Texas stated that the lottery was their most problematic gambling activity. (Wallisch, Lynn, “Gambling in Texas: 1995 Survey of Adult and Adolescent Behavior” Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse).
I wrote on this before.  Senator Sue Madison of Arkansas was brave to take that issue on.  The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported that the bill died in committee.
While as a libertarian I believe gambling should be legal, subject to appropriate regulation, the state must get out of the gambling business.  Sell the lottery, Governor McDonnell.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.


  1. Sandy Sanders

    Thank you Tom for adding this to the dialogue. Forf more of Sandy's blogs check out

    Sandy Sanders


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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