Mobile Gambling For Those Who Just Can't Get Away

from the keep-on-playing dept

When I was in high school I worked at a local stationery store to make some extra cash. One of my jobs was to run the Lotto machine, which also included selling the popular scratch-off cards. I would be the first one to the shop in the morning, and open the doors at 6:30am – at which point, a hoard of regulars would come in and all buy scratch off cards. These people would be waiting at the door for me to unlock it. They clearly weren’t well off, but each morning they would buy between $5 and $20 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets – and often would plow whatever meager winnings back into more scratch off cards. Now, over in the UK, such people can throw even more money away by playing a privately run mobile lottery on their mobile phones. It’s basically the same concept as the scratch card, moved to the mobile phone. To make it even easier to plow your money back into more attempts, any money you win simply gets credited to your account where it can be used to buy more “cards”. You have to specifically request actual money to be sent to you from your account. How long until we hear about people throwing away thousands of dollars they don’t have this way?

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Comments on “Mobile Gambling For Those Who Just Can't Get Away”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Better fiscal education

I have often heard that almost all lottery revenues are generated by lower-income people. It’s interesting that state politicians that can be publically appalled at the idea of raising taxes on the poor, are more than happy to have a lottery as a revenue source.

Sorry for the rant. I’ve recently been trying to help out and educate a relative who hasn’t been too wise with their money. She knows what year Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but doesn’t know that a loan with a 23% interest rate is something to avoid. I’m just frustrated that a large portion of businesses take advantage of the financially ignorant. All over I see new loan shark style businesses (i.e. rent to own places, paycheck advancing companies, etc.) – And public schools spend so little time teaching about such practical things.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Better fiscal education

I agree with the above commenter 100%. I am a true right-winger, but I am absolutely appalled that companies that charge effective rates of interest of 25% or higher are allowed to exist.

The “free market” side of me says companies exist to serve a purpose and if they get customers, obviously there is a need, but the “compassionate conservative” side of me agrees with the above that the vast majority of people simply don’t understand interest rates and look only at the “monthly cost”. They sign up for that big-screen TV from Romco (?) looking at only the $50 a month cost and not the fact that they will end up paying 3x what the TV actually costs.

I grew up in a household that declaired bankrupcy when it was still a big deal and I have been in fixes of unemployment and no credit, so I can understand where the poor would want to live a better life, but it really pisses me off to see the financially naive get taken advantage of (/rant)

Which brings me back to the topic of the original post…this lottery thing for the vast majority of people it will be a simple amusement, but Mike is abolutely right that this will end up ruining a few

thecaptain says:

Re: Better fiscal education

Sometimes education is not enough…its shameful how MOST companies make money out of the desperation of the poor.

Here in Canada, in my city. A big chain grocery store in a poor neighborhood charges 25% MORE than the SAME chain store in my neighborhood (I moved last year and compared my bills…its insane). Banks in poor neighborhoods make it harder to open any kind of banking service…and many many “lease to own” places selling second rate furniture are the only places these people can go to to get any furniture at all (at 2 to 3X the regular price when you add it all up)

eeyore says:

no different

Go to Tunica and see who is pumping quarters into slot machines or video poker machines. The same people who we charitably call “trailer trash.” My wife’s cousin and her husband go there for every “vacation” they take and drop hundreds of dollars and somehow feel like they accomplished something. For their anniversary they blew a thousand dollars between gambling and expenses last year. My wife ahd I took a cruise for about the same money.

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