More Lottery Myths

We received a lot of response from people who had read our Lottery Myths post that was published a few weeks ago, and we realized that we weren’t finished yet.

There are a lot of misconceptions that surround lottery gaming activities, especially in Canada where corporations which are affiliated with the provincial governments manage the province’s lotteries.

Some additional myths include:

  1. Myth: the government uses the lottery as a form of taxation. It’s an implicit tax, with high administrative costs, which directs money to institutions which should be supported by the government.

Fact: Taxing citizens is applied across the board whereas playing the lottery is voluntary. The decision about which non-profits that lottery revenues should support is made by the lottery corporations after numerous public hearings. The decisions about where to use these revenues is subject to public and governmental scrutiny.

  1. Myth: Lottery activities contribute to the growth of compulsive gambling.

Fact:  There is actually very little evidence that supports this theory. North American gambling hotlines report that few callers cite lotteries as the trigger for their excessive gambling. In a University of Minnesota study which followed over 900 gamblers who had entered treatment for their addiction, researchers asked the participants to identify their preferred game – fewer than 1% of these subjects identified lottery games as their game of choice.

Another survey, which was conducted by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center for the National Survey on Gambling Behavior, established that “it does not appear that the availability of a lottery has an impact on (problem gambling) prevalence rates.”

  1. Myth: When lottery sales take place on the Internet, retailers lose sales.

Fact:  Lotteries see internet sales as a way to increase public awareness in lottery games, create more interest and make it easier and more convenient for players to participate in the lottery. There is no evidence that allowing the public to turn to the internet lottery entertainment adversely affects local retailers’ sales.

  1. Myth: Gamers need more assurance that lottery drawings are conducted fairly before they play the lottery.

Fact:  Lottery drawings are carefully scrutinized by watchdogs including Lottery Independent assurance regulators who are commissioned by the  province to  supervise the provincial lottery activities. Since lotteries bring in a significant amount of money to the province’s coffers, it’s to the provincial government’s benefit, as well  as to the benefit of the lottery corporation, to  demonstrate that lottery is conducted fairly and under tight security. Canadian lotteries are subject to both internal          and independent audits which verify that the processes – and equipment, such as the random number generator – provide random  results. The equipment is tested regularly and stored securely to prevent any tampering.

  1. Myth: Due to the fact that the lottery proceeds benefit provincial government-affiliated gambling corporations, you can’t trust these entities to properly regulate their activities or to monitor these activities.Fact: Since provincial governments make their own tax policies and many other decisions regarding their citizens, why shouldn’t these governments be trusted to monitor their own lottery activities? Lotteries operate under the auspices of independent supervisory authorities who regularly check their records and review the house edge, the random number generators and the paytables. Files pertaining to lottery activities are a matter of public record and anyone can access these records to review any information that they might want to know. The board meetings and hearings that are conducted by the lottery corporations are open to the public and are fully accessible – sometimes more accessible than the hearings of other regulatory agencies.

    Don’t forget that lotteries are highly scrutinized and security is a high priority, since lottery sales go up when people have faith in the system.  One of the reasons that provincial governments took responsibility for local lotteries is that, by employing state-of-the-art draw machines and making official drawings open to everyone through televising the draws, people will have more confidence in the lottery and will be more likely to participate.

These security precautions include using secure printing facilities and controlling distribution through approved retailers , bar coding all electronic validation equipment and other protective measures.

  1. Myth: Only lottery ticket holders benefit from the lottery.

Fact: Every week thousands of lottery ticket holders win cash prizes as they play the lottery. Many others also become lottery winners.

• Retailers who sell lottery tickets earn commissions, both on sales of lottery products and from wins

that occur from tickets that they sell.

  • Suppliers and vendors benefit from the sale and upkeep of hardware, software, advertising services, tickets and other goods and services that are used when running a lottery.

All citizens benefit from lottery proceeds that support charity and non-profits throughout the provinces.

Alternate Lotteries

The Canadian lottery is a safe and secure lottery option for anyone who wants to buy a ticket and see where his luck takes him.

There are alternative lotteries available to Canadian citizens as well. These lotteries are not operated by the provincial gambling corporations so they are open to all Canadian citizens, regardless of their location and their gaming needs.

The alternative lotteries, also known as freemarket lotteries, are available for Free Mode gaming and Real Mode gambling. Players simply select the mode in which they want to play and proceed. Real money gamers deposit wagers, ranging from a few coins to as many coins as they wish – this gives participants the freedom to gamble in a way that meets their individual gaming needs and expectations.

The freemarket casinos are available on mobile. This is another benefit of freemarket gaming which gives players the freedom to gamble at any time and from any location on a PC or mobile device.

Canadian players are lucky in that they have a wide range of lottery products and sites for their gaming entertainment.






Written by Joanne Graham

I began reporting on Canada's land-based casinos in the early '90s when the casinos' popularity started to grow among both Canadian and foreign gamblers. Throughout over 2 decades of reporting, both for print journalism and TV news shows, I documented different casino trends, beginning with the small casino venues which popped up on First Nation Reserves and expanding to reports of deluxe casino sites which can now be found in almost every major Canadian cities. Today I serve as a confidant of Canadian casino owners and operators who look to me to help them decide where to build new casinos, which games to feature and how to expand casino entertainment options for Canadians. I was the first Canadian writer to identify the impact that the new cybercurrencies would have on Canadian casinos. This work has helped the casinos prepare for the new payment methods in a timely fashion.