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For almost as many years as it has been in operation, the V.I. Lottery has been losing money, and gambling machines have been raising people's suspicions.
Unsold tickets somehow win prizes, and the government secretly signed a contract with a gambling machine company to operate gambling machines in restaurants, hotels and bars on St. John and St. Thomas.
How does this happen?
It is time to close the lottery. We could allow the V.I. Lottery street vendors to sell Powerball, Megamillions and Puerto Rico Lottery tickets so they don't lose their income.
It is noted in all studies of gambling that the people who gamble and lose, which is the majority of the people who gamble, are predominately the lower income people in a community. Whatever income that the V.I. Government makes from gambling comes from the pockets of the people that can least afford it.
If we are going to continue with government-sanctioned gambling, let's find a better way to assure that the V.I. Government makes as much money as possible from it and that it does not get spent running the V.I. Lottery.
- Greg Miller, St. Thomas