Daily Archives: June 23, 2008

Scratch Tickets for Kids?

Leaving aside the question of why state governments have chosen to take up the mafia’s former role as a primary purveyor of gambling scams let us be a bit bemused over the kerfuffle in Washington about some $2 scratch ticket games:

Washington’s Lottery is removing a scratch game featuring pictures of popular candies after a complaint that it could appeal to children.
Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office on Thursday asked the lottery to pull the game, which features tickets that look like labels for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Jolly Rancher and other candies, after investigating a concern that it could be perceived as a game for kids.

But kids under 18 aren’t supposed to buy scratch tickets:

What is the age limit for purchasing or redeeming Lottery tickets?
Only persons 18 or older may purchase or redeem lottery tickets. It is a good idea to check ID if you are uncertain just as you would with alcohol or cigarettes.

The Washington Lottery apparently also has an active campaign designed to help keep those younger kids away from the evils regularly modeled by their parents:

“This particular brand may have been misconstrued and won’t be repeated. We’re very committed to preventing sales to minors,” she said, citing the lottery’s “Not 18? Not a Chance” campaign

Note that the headline on the “Not 18? Not a Chance” campaign page says:

It’s Good to Play

Go figure!?
You might also wonder why kids would find $2 “Hershey’s “:
any more alluring than, say, $2 “Wet and Wild 7’s “:
Or any of these $1 games.

Smart kids like smart adults know that these games are designed so that the consumer loses. They do not enable misbegotten government behavior by buying scratch or lottery tickets.