Is Lottery Really a Form of Gambling or Not? Let’s See…


A common trait of gamblers is that they don’t like the idea of being included in such a category and some of them go to great lengths to prove that their game of choice is not actually gambling. Lottery players are not as committed to prove the opposite, but the subject is on their mind as well and it is worth looking a bit deeper into the sensitive issue. Even though a conclusion won’t change the number of tickets sold, it can still help players mitigate the risks of succumbing to addiction if such a risk truly exists.

Lottery, lotto and other forms of gambling

The fact that most lottery games depend almost exclusively on the chance makes it easy to include them in the category of gambling, alongside most casino games. To start with, players have no control over the outcome of the game, which is the cornerstone requirement for lotto. All they need to do is to select a couple of numbers and then patiently wait for the drawing to see if the ones they chose are the same as those extracted. By not having any control whatsoever they are at luck’s mercy which leads us to the preliminary conclusion that the lottery is indeed a form of gambling.

It helps comparing the game with some of its counterparts, and those played inside casinos are the perfect examples. Unlike slot games, roulette, video poker and similar titles, lottery games require minimal user involvement as all the player needs to do is to purchase tickets. The aforementioned games might not require any skill at all, but they’re very likely to lead to major downswings and even to the utter destruction of a bankroll. The same can’t about said for the lottery, because the price of a ticket is insignificant and it would take a great deal of tickets to jeopardize someone’s finances.

Lottery addiction is not a major threat

Arguably the most important reason for why gambling is banned in several countries and strictly regulated in most civilized ones is that it frequently leads to addiction. When it comes to lottery, players usually have a laid-back approach and this is the result of accepting the fact that they start as huge underdogs. Buying the ticket is necessary to have a chance of winning, but with the chance of scooping the jackpot being one in many millions, nobody actually expects to prevail.

Lotto might be gambling at its core, but at least it is not time-consuming and it is not the kind of game to keep you up at night. Problem gamblers are focusing almost exclusively on the game of chance and this is why their lives derailed and their relationships suffer. Lottery players on the other hand frequently forget about the game the moment after they buy the ticket and place it somewhere safe. They resume their daily activities and live meaningful lives without allowing the preferred game take over.

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