Government Lottery Regulations


Many governments around the world operate their own lotteries. Canada has five government-run lotteries, as do forty-five states in the United States and the District of Columbia. In addition, lottery games are also found in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In fact, there are government-operated lotteries in more than 100 countries on every continent. These are typically run by national, state, or city governments, though some are privately operated.

The state and provincial governments regulate lotteries. The federal government does not regulate lotteries. In the United States, the only federal regulation that applies to lotteries is that they are regulated. This is because lottery revenues are only half a percent of the state’s budget. This makes it unfair for the state to set taxes without proper consideration. It is therefore unfair for a government to impose such a high tax on a small, yet lucrative, industry.

The proceeds from lottery play are largely donated to local governments. In some jurisdictions, the money goes to education. However, only half of states dedicate the money they make from the lottery to education. Since lottery spending is a relatively small portion of the budget, the state has been able to spend the money on other important priorities. For example, in California, the National Basketball Association (NBA) holds a lottery to choose the players for their upcoming draft. The winning team gets the chance to select the best college talent in the country.