Lottery director slams ad restrictions

Posted June 18, 2014

— Senate leaders and lottery officials spent roughly an hour Wednesday morning trashing a House budget proposal that would both require the state gambling enterprise to produce more money and add restrictions on advertising. 

"The author of this language wants to see the lottery fail and wants to put the lottery out of business," lottery director Alice Garland told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

House budget writers anticipated getting $106 million more in lottery proceeds next year, but a provision pushed by Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, would block the lottery from advertising during college sporting events. Stam's amendment also would require that the lottery display the prizes for jackpot games in two different ways.

Lottery winners can choose to take their winnings paid out over 20 years or in a lump sum. In most venues, the lottery advertises both numbers. But it advertises only the higher, long-term payout number on billboards and in electronic in-store displays. Stam's amendment would require both numbers be advertised everywhere.

"It would be a tremendous expense and create a great deal of confusion," Garland said of the new sign requirements.

North Carolina, she said, would be the only state in the country with such a requirement, she said, and displaying the two different numbers could drive down sales. 

Senators, who are not kindly disposed toward the House budget overall, blasted the lottery provision. 

Noting that the House relies on the lottery funding for teacher raises, a high-priority item, Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, said it made little sense to curtail how the lottery raises money.

"We need these silly restrictions off," he said. 

Both the House and Senate have passed versions of the budget. They are now negotiating a final spending plan to send to the governor.

Noting that the lottery restrictions had started life as House Bill 156 before finding its way into the House budget, Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, indicated the Senate would not agree to a final budget that included the measure. 

"I don't want us to spend a whole lot of time worrying about HB 156, no matter where it is or where it was put," Apodaca said.


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  • sisu Jun 18, 2014

    It's just like they're doing to the schools. Make it harder and harder to do the job while expecting greater and greater outcomes.

    Ms. Garland is right to speak out about it. Smoke and mirrors once again.

    How clever to tie teacher raises to increased lottery outcome while making it harder for the lottery to even produce current outcome through advertising restrictions.

  • Bob Bucy Jun 18, 2014
    user avatar

    Does anybody really run out and buy a lottery ticket based on one of the lottery's silly TV commercials? I would be willing to bet that for the vast majority of people, either they are going to buy a ticket or they aren't. I would be surprised if advertising had much impact upon the decision.

  • common tater Jun 18, 2014

    Garland and Tillman are wrong. It's not confusing to print the truth. Printing only the "jackpot" number is a lie. That number is what you might get after 20-30 years in some annuity. In reality they should put the real "lump sum" payout in big letters, then put the "possible after 30 years" amount in small print. I'd also like to see daily updates on the scratch-offs, like how many tickets are left with major prizes. People are playing the scratch-offs when the posted odds are really not true since some or most of the big prizes are already won. Telling the truth isn't a "restriction".

  • Todd Singleton Jun 18, 2014
    user avatar

    This is more GOP engineering of failure for programs they are ideologically opposed to. Defund public schools, demand better results. Defund the lottery, demand more revenue. The cowardice is unbelievable.

  • Todd Singleton Jun 18, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    No, irony is someone attacking teachers with incoherent sentences that are not proofread.

  • ncguy Jun 18, 2014

    I agree with Stam on this

  • Cabe Merritt Jun 18, 2014
    user avatar

    Who cares if they advertise during sporting events?

  • yankee1 Jun 18, 2014

    How clever to tie teacher raises to increased lottery outcome while making it harder for the lottery to even produce current outcome through advertising restrictions..............

    Almost as clever as teachers expecting raises at the same time achievement scores go backwards and then having tenure to protect them from consequences.

  • Thornes Jun 18, 2014

    Welcome to organized crime. I knew it would not be long before it happened. There will be a loss in the traceability before it's over and unions running the state. Yeah it is coming.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 18, 2014

    Quite frankly, I don't understand why the lottery NEEDS to advertise at all. They're available at nearly every single store a person walks into, usually right there at the front of the store or by the checkout counter. It's not like one has to search to find them so it's not like it's unnoticable.

    And personally, though I have nothing against what an ADULT does with their money, I wouldn't mind seeing the NC lottery fail, because I think NC citizens were sold a scam, leading us to think education would benefit from this lottery as profits would SUPPLEMENT (add to) the state's education budget when instead, it OFFSETS the dollars already in the budget, dollar for dollar, meaning no additional dollars are ever added and the basis for improving in this state are nil.