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The Red Sox impose plan to sucker, tax poor people

Mar 31, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

The Red Sox and the Massachusetts State Lottery are partnering up for a new lottery game called “Monster Money.”  It’s a $10 scratch ticket game that debuted
yesterday. The game offers three $3 million instant prizes and seven prizes of $1
million. Other prizes include Red Sox gear such as jackets, pants,
warm-up jerseys and duffel bags.

In other news, lotteries are regressive taxes which provide false hopes of riches — and in this case, Red Sox logos and gear — in the eyes of a players who tend to skew poor and less-educated (certainly uneducated enough to be unable to realize the astronomical odds against them ever winning anything from them). As gambling games they are complete ripoffs inasmuch as they often retain as much as 50% of all wagers whereas casino games — which already favor the house themselves — pay out in excess of 90% of the gross.  Simply put, you’re better off wagering the paycheck on the roulette wheels at Mohegan Sun than you are playing the Red Sox scratch game.

But of course, lotteries benefit the masses, right? Sure, in their own inefficient and indirect way they do. For instance, this lottery pays millions to aid local municipalities. Of course, so too could a tax that is applied more evenly and fairly to the populace and doesn’t represent as unreliable a revenue stream as lotteries tend to be. And even if it has to be a lottery, it could certainly be one that doesn’t kick millions to the Red Sox in the form of licensing fees as this one does. Indeed, if the Red Sox really wanted to help out the good people of Massachusetts they could simply donate the use of their logo for the limited purpose of this lottery. I’ll update this post when they do so. In the meantime, know that the Sox will realize millions from gambling while any player who wanders into the sports book and puts $15 bucks on their team to win it all this season risks a lifetime ban.

Finally, let us all bookmark this post and revisit it in a few months when the first few winners are announced.  If form holds, a few working class people who were rescued from squandering their limited resources by sheer dumb luck will be held up and publicized as role models for other working class people who will thereby be encouraged to do more squandering.

My friend Jason is looking for reasons to hate the Red Sox. This one should count as one, shouldn’t it?

  1. ClementeLegend - Apr 1, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    Does Craig actually think this is worse than the Yankees blowing through tons of taxpayer dollars, to build themselves a new palace?
    If Craig is so worried about the poor people buying Red Sox lottery tickets, than maybe some of that taxpayer money used to buy a new stadium for George Steinbrenner could have been better served on homeless shelter, social services for the poor and better education.
    Craig shows his bias, he isn’t a Yankees fan, but I don’t see how ripping the Red Sox for this lottery ticket thing makes any sense. And honestly, who cares Craig if you have a friend that wants to see the Red Sox get dissed. Then I can find 50 more folks that want to see the New York Yankees get dissed.
    Taypayer money should NOT have been used to build the incredibly wealthy Yankees a new palace for themselves. No, YankeesfanLen — it simply was not right how public taxpayer funds were used to construct a stadium for America’s richest baseball team. I don’t want to see that kind of money being blown to help any sporting franchise build themselves a park.

  2. Josh in DC - Apr 1, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Anyone who says 2004 was the worst thing to ever happen to the Sox and their fans is an idiot.
    And Craig, I’m totally with you on the lottery. They’re an outrage.

  3. Will - Apr 1, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    lotteries are regressive taxes which provide false hopes of riches [...] in the eyes of a players who tend to skew poor and less-educated (certainly uneducated enough to be unable to realize the astronomical odds against them ever winning anything from them).

    This is not a tax in any real sense of the word. I can choose not to buy a lotto ticket, and there will be no negative repercussions. I can’t choose not to file my tax return, at least not without risking civil and criminal punishment.
    Is it a scam? Yes. Is it immoral? Possibly. But it’s not a tax.
    In any case, I don’t think that only the poor or ill-educated buy lotto tickets. Plenty of well-off people buy them, simply because they enjoy the fantasy that they’ll win a bazillion dollars on a few bucks wagered. Buying the ticket makes the fantasy slightly more real than your standard pie in the sky daydream. The odds barely even enter into the equation.

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