Americans are willing to take a flier these days, especially if it's only a couple of bucks. In Massachusetts, the lottery generated $4.7 billion in ticket sales last year, up from $4.4 billion in 2007. Washington, D.C.'s instant lottery sales were at their highest ever at $45 million in the 2008 fiscal year.
A Carnegie Mellon University study published in July in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making concludes that low-income people are more likely to purchase lottery tickets than those with higher-income. That has prompted criticism that lotteries are an extra tax on the poor.
Lately, it's only the small wagers that are increasing Las Vegas casino revenue slid over 9 percent in 2008, according to Bloomberg.
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