Report: rise in lottery scratch-offs lures poor the most

Image courtesy Florida Lottery via Facebook

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – A new analysis of Florida Lottery scratch-off games shows a renewed sales push most often lures people who live in poor areas.

The SunSentinel reported Sunday that in areas of highest poverty, one in six households spent at least $10 of every $1,000 in income on the games in 2010. Last year, that rate grew to one in three households.

The newspaper reports that sales of scratch-off games rose from $2 billion in 2010 to $3.7 billion last year. About $832 million of the increase – a little more than half – came from high-poverty areas, which represent 32 percent of the state’s ZIP codes.

Lottery officials say there was no intent to appeal specifically to poor residents. They attribute the success of scratch-offs to a broad-based marketing push.

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