Illinois Lottery Now Paying IOUs on Wins Bigger than $600

Just pray these guys never take over the state's whorehouses.

| & David Frey

In the Land of Lincoln, it's come to this: Starting today, Illinois will be issuing IOUs for any winning state lottery tickets that pay out more than $600. Back in September, the state had started writing IOUs for wins over $25,000.

Asks the Illinois Policy Institute:

So why is the state continuing to sell lottery tickets? Two winners, one with a winning ticket worth $50,000 and another winner with a ticket worth $250,000, filed a lawsuit Sept. 9 seeking to stop Illinois from selling tickets for winnings it can't pay out.

Regardless of the lawsuit, opines the good folks at IPI, the state should stop laying bets it can't pay. The trouble stems from the awful, worst-in-the-nation budget situation:

The Illinois General Assembly did pass a state budget in May, but it was unbalanced to the tune of $4 billion, and the governor vetoed it. Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that funds Illinois schools, and many other state spending items have been mandated by consent decrees or pushed piecemeal through the courts.

But Illinoisans across the state continue to suffer as many in the General Assembly refuse to do the right thing and pass a balanced budget the state can afford, instead of resorting to deficit spending. With more than $100 billion in pension debt and $6 billion in unpaid bills, more of the same won't work. It's time to stop the bleeding. Until then, people wanting to cash in life-changing lottery tickets, the poor and disabled, and taxpayers across the state will lose out.

Good luck with all that.

Hat tip: Mike Hewlett.

Amidst not-actually-true stories about how "unregulated" (read: regulated) sports-fantasy sites are ripping off customers, it's good to know that public betting operations are on the cutting edge of brazen theft when it comes to gambling. The obvious solution is to legalize gambling, thus spurring competition for patrons and innovation in offerings. In an age of Yelp for everything, bad actors are unmasked quicker than ever. Which kind of answers the question of why states won't legalize competition.

Consider this snippet from a 1997 story about legal versus illegal numbers games in Philadelphia:

The illegal street game remains appealing despite the state lottery, say Morris, Lane and their buddies, because the payout is greater. The legal Daily Number pays winners $500 for every $1 wagered. Illegal games generally pay $600 for every $1 bet. Bookies also will often extend credit.

NEXT: Hundreds Arrested in FBI-Sponsored Prostitution Sting

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  1. It takes a special kind of incompetence to fail at running a state lottery.

    1. Yeah, I though lotteries were *supposed* to be revenue generators for states. I mean, don’t they benefit older *ans?

    2. Don’t attribute to incompetence what can be attributed to brazen corruption.

    3. It’s only incompetence if people quit playing the state lottery. Otherwise, it becomes a 100% tax on the lottery tickets of anyone stupid enough to buy one.

    4. I’m not sure how this shows they’re failing. Seems to me that they’re increasing the profits. They get all the revenue from ticket sales and don’t have to pay out any winnings.

  2. Illinois is filled with stupid, episode MCMLXXXVI

    1. It’s not 2016, yet.

  3. Will Illinois be the first state to declare bankruptcy? As far as deserving creditors go, I imagine lottery winners ain’t.

    1. And yet, just watch as the good people of The Lawyer State continue to buy the damned tickets.

      1. I don’t know. Once word about the IOUs goes out I expect purchases to drop quickly. Who would play a slot machine if they knew they were going to get IOUs? So the state is basically shooting itself in the foot. It needs money. The lottery is one of the few “profitable” enterprises it runs, and also the first thing it shuts down. Makes total sense.

        1. The lottery is one of the few “profitable” enterprises it runs, and also the first thing it shuts down. Makes total sense.

          When you remember how these people think, it ought to come as no surprise that they do things like that. They truly have no idea how money works in the real world.

        2. The people playing the lotto aren’t known for their smarts. My guess is that most of them will keep playing.

  4. Oh good, an excuse to post a Cheap Trick song.

  5. Bookies also will often extend credit.


  6. The state is the only bookie that could manage to go bankrupt.

  7. I’m a resident of Illinois and once again have been shamed. At least we voted Rauner in, hopefully he does something to curb the madness.

    1. As someone who escaped Illinois this year, I I’ll just point and laugh.

      — HA-HA!!!

    2. Until government employees are liquidated, nothing will change.

  8. I thought lottery commissions were set up as separate financial entities. They take in revenue, payout prizes or set up annuities, and hand the profit to the state.

    Did Illinois co-mingle their lottery revenue and prizes with the general fund? That’s fucking insane.

    1. It was for the children.

    2. While I don’t know about Ill, in my state the big games (Powerball, Megamillions) are multi-state games run by a contractor and supervised by the lottery commission. So, yeah, sounds like Ill was skimming too much.

  9. Until then, people wanting to cash in life-changing lottery tickets, the poor and disabled,

    I would love to cash in the poor and disabled.

  10. Not just lotto, state pension are also getting IOU as well.

  11. “unregulated” (read: regulated)

    “Unregulated” is prog-speak for regulated but not producing the desired results and therefore in need of more regulations.

  12. The legal Daily Number pays winners $500 for every $1 wagered. Illegal games generally pay $600 for every $1 bet.

    Either I’m missing something, or this doesn’t make sense (could be both, I guess). Are they trying to say $500/$600 for every $1000 bet?

  13. Next they’ll be forcing Illinois businesses (you want those licenses and inspections?) to accept the IOUs as payment. The Government of course will not accept them.

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