State lotteries: Explaining their popularity

E. Bernadette McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article provides a detailed explanation for the adoption of state lotteries as revenue measures. It focuses on Texas for examples. Relying on a previously published set of evaluative criteria for revenue sources, the authors explain why, despite generally negative treatment of state lotteries by revenue experts, lotteries are favored by legislatures and publics in thirty-four states and the District of Columbia. As revenue matters rather thangeneral policy matters, lotteries are politically expedient and have sufficiently large yields to overshadow shortcomings noted by experts and critics: regressivity, high administrative costs, instability, lower than anticipated yields, and potential negative social consequences. This look at policy-maker and public evaluation of state lotteries explains their widespread utilitization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1033
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration


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