Dear Friend of Texans Against Gambling:
The COVID-19 pandemic has made work more difficult for all of us. Like many others, Texans Against Gambling is working from home. We continue to work diligently to stop the gambling industry's exploitation of our most vulnerable citizens. So is our national partner,
Stop Predatory Gambling
Recently, we learned, not surprisingly, that sales of lottery tickets soared the week that the first batch of stimulus payments arrived. Our contention has always been that commercial gambling, including state lotteries, feeds addiction. This is but the most recent example, but it is a particularly tragic one. Clearly, money that was intended for groceries, housing, and other necessities was misspent on lottery tickets in too many cases.
To view the Houston Chronicle article that exposed this,
We at TAG are joining our national partner, Stop Predatory Gambling, in calling on the fifty state governors to suspend all lottery tickets for thirty days. In addition to the terrible social cost of the lottery, there is more than adequate reason to suspend Texas lottery for reasons of social distancing.
Texas does not have online sales of lottery tickets. A lottery customer must go in person to a retailer, such as a convenience store or grocery store. He or she then purchases a ticket or tickets at the cash register or a vending machine. Then, the customer often checks online whether he or she has won. After that, the customer goes to the cash register or customer service counter and cashes the ticket on the spot if the winnings are less than $600.00. If the winnings are more than $600.00, the customer must go to an area Texas Lottery office to cash the ticket. Either way, the ticket is touched by at two or more persons. If the ticket is purchased at a lottery vending machine, that equipment is also touched by the customer.
It makes sense that if one cannot get a haircut or attend worship services during the pandemic, one should not be able to purchase a lottery ticket, which is hardly a necessity and can even feed addictive behavior prompted by depression and/or anxiety. Purchases of lottery tickets during this pandemic is an unnecessary rick of infection and illness.
We are asking friends of Texans Against Gambling to contact The Honorable Greg Abbott, governor of the great state of Texas, encouraging him to suspend all sales of tickets for the Texas Lottery, for thirty days. It's the right thing to do for many reasons. The governor has the authority to take this temporary emergency measure by executive order.
The preferred way to communicate with the Governor's office is via its website:
However, if you prefer to communicate some other way, the website contains the telephone number and mailing address for the governor's office. (By the way, the link above is accurate. The first "gov" is for governor, and the second is short for "government." A little unusual, but accurate.)
Your prayers and support are always needed and appreciated.