Gambling warning proposed for lottery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Lottery, facing a lawsuit from the House for signing a long-term contract regarding ticket sales, may be required to have a warning about gambling on each ticket.

A measure (HB 937) filed Wednesday by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, would require vendors and retailers that contract with the department to print or place warnings on all lottery tickets stating, "Warning: Gambling can be addictive."

“It’s a waste of money. People are not going to look at it. If they want to play, they’ll play," said Jack Guswami, who owns a convenience store in Green Cove Springs. "Like cigarettes, there’s a warning sign on cigarettes, but people still smoke. So if people want to play the lottery, they will play.”

The measure would require the warnings to be in place Jan. 1, 2018. Last week, the House of Representatives filed a lawsuit over the Florida Lottery's long-term contract with IGT Global Solutions Corp.

The House claims the contract is illegal as it requires the spending of more money than the Legislature has set aside for ticket machines in the current budget.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, one in 20 American adults will have some type of difficulty with gambling in their lifetime. The same study showed that one out of every three substance abusers also struggles with gambling.

The measure was filed just hours before Wednesday night's drawing for the $435 million Powerball jackpot.

The winning numbers in the drawing were 10-13-28-52-61, Powerball: 2, Power Play: 2.


The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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