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The OB Poll: Schools should get lottery priority

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Poll wrap-up
Friday, August 28, 2009
The majority of our voters in this week’s poll on video lottery profits say that the money made from the lottery should go to fund schools, period.

Lottery officials are debating whether to cut the share of money kept by establishments with video lottery. Last year, the lottery paid on average $71,000 to bars and taverns.

Some call the payout a tavern welfare program and want the money to go to schools, which are chronically underfunded in Oregon. Educations advocates say the proceeds going to bars and taverns should be reduced and that the retailers are being paid too much.

Supporters say that money helps create jobs in the industry and retailers around the state are trying to convince the Oregon Lottery Commission that their shares should be left alone, or increased.

An editorial in the Oregonian suggested a cut in lottery rates for retailers, but not until after the recession.

Voters in our poll gave the tavern industry almost no support, and about 28% said video lottery should be banned outright.

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