The Chinese lottery: a tax on the poor?
Lotteries around the world have one thing in common and this is the unbridled enthusiasm and hope of players that they can turn their lives around by winning the jackpot. It is not something justified by numbers, quite the opposite, but this doesn’t make this conviction any less durable. The Chinese lottery is a relatively new invention as the games were deemed illegal in the past, but in just a bit over three decades it got a lot of traction. There are several reasons for why Lotto games are so popular with the Chinese public and they are worth taking a look at.
The only chance to close the gap
One of the main reasons for why people play the lottery is that they regard it as the best if not the only way of getting rich overnight. The wider the gap separating the poor from the rich, the stronger this conviction grows that there is no other way of making the transition from one category to another. In this context, many would expect the Chinese lottery to be favored mostly by low income people who are struggling to make a living and have almost run out of choices.
Strangely enough, unlike its western counterparts where this rule is absolutely true, most tickets for the Chinese lottery are purchased by people from the middle class. Since the term is not exactly accurate for defining the Chinese realities, ticket purchasers are people who make more than those who are struggling with poverty. The problem is that they can’t expect to increase their budgets too much and if they are to break out, it is the Chinese lottery that can make it happen.
Positive outlook for the Chinese lottery
There are 2 scenarios that should be taken into account and one of these involves the continuous expansion of the Chinese lottery. It makes perfect sense for the authorities to keep the games alive because these are an important source of revenue for the national budget. This “tax on hope” as many call it, is an excellent way of taking money from the population without upsetting anyone. People are paying the fee willingly for a chance to win a large amount and this is why the party has no interest in shutting them down.
Things can get even better in a not so distant future because the Chinese lottery is expected to outshine its American counterpart in only a matter of years. As the middle class doesn’t look like it is about to take shape and the number of poor people is increasing, it is expected for the latter to become more attracted by the lottery. All the data point in the same direction, and suggest that the Chinese lottery is going to keep growing at the accelerated pace and soon become the most important organization of this type.
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January 27, 2013 | by John Greener |