Where were anti-gaming moralists when lottery grew?

Dan Rodricks and some readers love to knock the casinos as some sort of de-facto tax on the poor ("A casino switch that's moral," June 12). Mr. Rodricks has made his views very clear concerning casinos. However, where was his outrage when the Maryland State Lottery started pulling 3- and 4-digit numbers on Sunday? Or added a second Lotto drawing? Or two weekly Match 5 drawings? Or when the Big Game and Powerball were added? How about the oodles of scratch-off games ranging from $1 to $20? Perusing the state lottery's web page recently, I lost track of how many scratch-off games are available. Not to mention a Keno drawing every five minutes. And as an added feature, you can pay extra for Keno Bonus and, amusingly enough, Keno Super Bonus. And let's not forget the Racetrax and Racetrax Bonus offerings.

Anti-gambling groups love to focus on the downfalls of casino gaming and how it makes it easier for low- income earners to lose their money. When do they picket the lottery's offices? There is a lottery terminal on virtually every corner, in every neighborhood and in a plethora of different types of establishments. Terminals in liquor stores, grocery stores, bars and convenience stores. How exactly does the lottery avoid the same criticisms as the casinos and their operators?

It seems to be a case of hypocrisy. Is the theory that the state keeps 100 percent of the lottery proceeds? Apparently, it's OK to "tax the poor" when an outside operator is not also reaping the benefits.

Brian Fitzpatrick, Catonsville

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