01/26/2013 11:29 am ET Updated Jan 26, 2013

North Carolina Proposal Would Ban Welfare Recipients From Buying Lottery Tickets

North Carolina lawmakers have drafted legislation that would ban welfare recipients and people in bankruptcy from buying lottery tickets in the state, according to several news reports.

The bill draft would punish vendors for selling lottery tickets to someone who they know is on welfare or in bankruptcy, according to ABC 11 in Raleigh. The lawmakers behind it believe it's counterproductive for the government to accept money from welfare recipients who are struggling to get by.

"We're giving them welfare to help them live, and yet by selling them a ticket, we're taking away their money that is there to provide them the barest of necessities," state House Majority Leader Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam (R), who is helping draft the bill, told ABC 11. Stam added that the lottery "is essentially a scam," the news outlet reported. Stam also said that some of the North Carolina lottery advertising is "just fraudulent," according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

Some lottery critics claim that the lottery is a tax on the poor, the uneducated, and the elderly, who are more likely to buy lottery tickets. For example, the poorest counties in North Carolina have the highest spending per capita on lottery tickets, according to North Carolina Policy Watch (via Business Insider).

Lottery ticket buyers have almost no chance of winning the jackpot. However, lottery sales around the country have been breaking records.



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