She said that when the lottery was created — over our strenuous objections — we advocated that the authorizing legislation contain language that would prevent the state from doing what other states had done, which was to promote the lottery as a get-rich-quick scheme to an excessive degree. For instance, advertising in other states had portrayed people who studied and worked hard to make a living as saps, and lottery players as the smart ones who knew the way to fortune.
Well, I remembered that part. What I didn’t remember that in connection with the legislative restrictions that we advocated, the lottery operators also would be required to urge people to play "responsibly."
But here it is, clear as can be, in state law:
The commission must promote fair and responsible play, including
disclosure of the odds of winning, and must ensure that any advertising
used does not exhort the public to bet by misrepresenting, directly or
indirectly, a person’s chance of winning a prize.
Fact noted. So now I will make these two points:
- First, if the only reason the lottery director is urging us to play "responsibly" is that the law requires him to, that means the situation is even more ironic, not less. Doesn’t it?
- Second, I must apologize to Ernie Passailaigue if my previous words implied hypocrisy on his part. If he’s forced by law to say words that sound hypocritical, then he’s not the hypocrite, the state is.
But then, that was always the case. Ernie’s just a guy doing a job. The guilty party here has always been the state.