Several groups last Saturday began a drive to get people to think about saving the dollars they spend on gambling and put it in the bank.
Citzens Against Expanded Gambling spokesperson Lorrie Pickens says the groups asked businesses with lottery terminals to shut them off for the day.
They are also asking the public to take that money and open up a saving account...
"....It's modeled after the quit smoking campaign. Not very long ago our government used to encourage people to save by investing in municipal bonds and savings bonds. Today they encourage people (to gamble) to benefit the state but not so much the citizens..."
Pickens says Americans are expected to lose $118 billion to government-sanctioned gambling this year...
"....Specifically here in Wisconsin, when you look at where the majority of lottery tickets are sold, they're sold in the zip codes where there's the lowest per capita income. Basically, the state is selling hope for a dollar. In order for the state to win, citizens have to lose...."
Pickens says the movement started in Oregon by a woman whose brother committed suicide over gambling debts.
She says only the industry involved in it and the government gain from gambling....
"....It's whole business model is predicated on playing to extinction. Eventually, where the industry makes it's money is with people who get involved with gambling to the point where it literally bankrupts them...."
Pickens and others think if gamblers put that money where it grows, rather than where it most likely gets lost, they can create a nest egg over time.