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posted: 7/14/2014 5:01 AM

Lottery continues to affect the poor most

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After reading the June 30 article, "Suburbs see steep lottery sales growth," I was curious to see how the increase in sales in the suburbs compared with the lottery sales in other parts of the state. I discovered that eight of the top lottery sales areas had Chicago ZIP codes, where the unemployment rate was between 13.6 percent and 28.6 percent. The per capita income was less than $20,000 in six of those areas, and around $30,000 in the other two.

Yet, in each ZIP code, between $20 million and $30 million a year was spent on Illinois lottery tickets!

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Lottery ticket sales were $233 million in these 10 Chicago area ZIP codes, accounting for more than 29 percent of the total lottery sales in 2013. While lottery sales might be increasing in some of the suburbs, Chicago neighborhoods with high unemployment and low income still account for the highest lottery sales in Illinois.

The lottery is not an investment. The lottery is a regressive tax that affects the poor.

Anita Bedell

Executive director

Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems

Springfield

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