Gambling Laws and the Oregon Lottery


A lottery is a great way to win some money. The chance of winning a jackpot is hundreds of millions of to one. A lucky ticket can change your life for the better. However, there is no guarantee of success. A lot of people lose money at lottery games.

In some states, the lottery is a major revenue driver. The Oregon Lottery has over 9,000 video slot machines. This has attracted the attention of federal regulators. In 2000, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission examined the state’s business model and found the lottery was not doing its due diligence in maximizing the revenue potential of its machine fleet. In the end, the commission came down hard on the lottery’s strategy.

The Oregon Lottery’s strategy to boost revenues involves licensing casino-style slot machines in more places across the state. The Lottery licenses bars, delis and family restaurants to operate video slot machines. The operators get a cut of the profits. This arrangement has paid off handsomely for the State of Oregon, but it’s not without its own challenges.

The Oregon Lottery has not done its due diligence in enforcing the state’s rules. The lottery has a rule that requires retailers to spend 50 percent of their sales on non-lottery items. The rule has been largely ignored. In the most recent audit, the lottery reported it had a total of nineteen retailers who did not meet the requirement. In addition, a handful of retailer contracts were revoked.

The lottery also offers “Windfall” tournaments. This is a niche game that involves a series of jackpots. The prize is claimed by the person holding the ticket with the winning number. It’s not clear how many tickets are sold, or how much money is awarded.

The most obvious lottery rule is that no one under 18 may buy or play a lottery ticket. The lottery has a specialized system for dealing with underage players. Those who are caught playing the lottery while underage are fined. If you are a retailer and you sell or furnish a lottery ticket to a minor, you can be prosecuted under civil law. The maximum fine for this violation is $200.

Several states have incorporated the lottery’s most impressive feature into their laws. The Oregon Lottery has a nifty way of promoting its lottery: it pays lottery retailers to display a small “Lottery Lounge” sign on each of their locations. In 2004 the Lottery approved “line games” for the lottery’s video slot machines. These games include Megabucks and other progressive slots with jackpots up to $10,000.

The lottery is not a miracle cure for problem gambling. But it does offer a social experience for those who want it. The state’s most popular games are designed to facilitate this. It’s a matter of personal preference, though. Some people don’t like to talk to other players. Others prefer to play in a quiet environment, or they don’t want to risk their cash on a losing hand.