Lottery Gambling and Compulsive Gambling
The expansion of lottery gambling has brought with it a new set of problems. One of the chief concerns is that lottery gambling can lead to compulsive gambling. Other concerns include its effect on the lower-income population, and its ability to encourage problem gambling. New lottery games can also present new challenges to public policy makers.
Despite this, lottery gambling has grown consistently since its introduction in the 1970s. Before that time, state lotteries were little more than traditional raffles, where players would buy tickets for a drawing months in the future. The first innovations in lottery gambling occurred in the 1970s with the introduction of instant games, often in the form of scratch-off tickets. These games were very popular and had higher odds of winning than traditional lottery games, but their prize amounts were lower.
While the findings of this study do not support the notion that lottery gambling creates compulsive gamblers, they do suggest that heavy lottery players may share certain characteristics of compulsive and hedonic consumers. For example, they may have a high level of energy and sensation-seeking behaviors, which may contribute to their excessive lottery gambling.
While lottery gambling has been popular for centuries, its origins are not fully known. In China, lottery play dates back to the Han Dynasty. During the Han Dynasty, lottery games helped fund major government projects. The Chinese Book of Songs also mentions the game. Today, state and federal governments around the world hold lotteries. A random drawing is conducted to determine the winner.