Mississippi launched scratch card games towards the end of November and has plans for an online launch of the Mega Millions lottery and multi-state Power Ball games on January 30. These games of chance are highly popular with Americans as they require no skills to play as they are solely based on luck.
Mississippi residents usually have to go a long way to access a brick and mortar casino to place their bets.
Now that online gaming is less than two months away, the state gaming regulator is expected a flood of bets to come in on a regular basis via scratch off games and the state lottery as these games are now legal in the state.
The cost to purchase these scratch off games and lottery tickets are very minimal which is why it will be a huge draw to a large number of locals as the lure of paying a small sum to win a large amount continues to captivate players who are looking for lady luck to smile on them. Even if they do not win, they tend to come back for the next draw because the ticket prices are not expensive and the draw of getting rich overnight is a huge magnet.
Anti-Gambling Groups Concerned
This is why anti-gambling groups in Mississippi are very concerned that gambling addiction and gambling losses in the state are going to increase significantly in the coming year. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is one of the groups that have expressed concern that Mississippians could develop a gambling addiction easily as access to these online lottery games and scratch cards is now legal.
Players might end up spending an average of $50 per week on online lottery games and scratchcards – which isn’t a lot of money. However, when they keep coming back week after week, they lose track of how much money they are spending on gambling related activities. If a player ends up spending $50 per week, they would end up spending over $2,500 a year.
Given the fact that the average income in a place like Lee County is just $45,000, blowing away $2,500 on gambling is a lot of money. Gamblers Anonymous will have their work cut out in the coming months as 10 percent of Mississippians are reported to have an issue with compulsive gambling.