The game of lottery is a consumerist culture, not a racial or cultural trait
It is undeniable that lottery sales contribute to the country’s GDP.
The Malaysian Lottery Law of 1952 (Law 288) defines lottery as “any game, method, scheme or device by which money or monetary value is distributed or allocated in any way according to or to be determined. by chance or by lot ”. Thus, the word “game” is not used to define lotteries by number prediction operators (NFOs) such as Magnum 4D, Damacai and Sports Toto.
All of the NFO players shared one trait: the belief that they are capable of beating the odds and hitting the jackpot, by skill or by chance. Their personal belief reinforces their perception that playing the lottery is a risk worth taking even if it means spending their income and savings. NFO players, who are mostly low and middle income, tend to spend a substantial part of their salary on lottery tickets and in some cases these expenses become part of the household budget.
One of the main draws of seems to be that everyone, regardless of their skills, education or family background, has an equal chance of success.
The consumerism of these NFOs stirs people’s hearts with subliminal messages such as “it’s easy to make a lot of money with lotteries” in news stories that encourage the public to buy or keep buying tickets. lottery with the prospect of big wins. They participate because they largely overweight their low chances of winning.
NFO lotteries are seen as the only way for the lower and middle classes to legally escape poverty and, indeed, lottery sales increase as the poverty rate increases. People buy more lottery tickets when they are reminded of equal opportunity.
Considering that the poor are the most likely to buy lottery tickets, the government is raising taxes to create new social assistance measures to support those who lose too much money playing these games. This clearly means that gambling can be likened to drugs and alcohol, in terms of the potential to cause serious damage to the fabric and well-being of families and communities.
When it comes to assessing the relationship between gambling and illegal activities, since lotteries can be considered a legal form of gambling, they are likely to favor the shift from illegal to legal practices, thereby helping to reduce the risk of gambling. crime rate in society. Nevertheless, the fact remains that illegal gambling is never totally eliminated by having access to legal and sometimes state sponsored lotteries.
In any society, there are more players than non-players, which leads us to consider that the act is normal in itself, like any social practice that exists, continues through the ages, and becomes institutionalized. Older people buy more lottery tickets than younger people, and purchases are generally negatively correlated with income and education.
Even though religious belief seems to reduce gambling participation, gambling is also seen as functional in a society. In Spain, the demand for lottery tickets is exceptionally high due to the tradition among citizens which has a long tradition of sharing lottery tickets by playing in groups among friends, relatives or colleagues, not mainly for economic reasons of maximize their chances, but above all establish cohesive social groups and maintain friendships.
In a study predicting gambling habits in Australia in 2003, using a regression model, the study concluded that participation in lotteries in Australia is strongly influenced by age, ethnicity and location. household composition. While in another study conducted earlier in Germany in 1997 to estimate the individual model of legal gambling in that country, the results indicate that income, in Germany, has a positive and significant influence on participation in most gambling. lottery, suggesting that gambling is a widespread consumer good.
A study by the Max Planck Institute in Germany found that participation in the lottery serves to compensate and release tensions resulting from social inequalities and feelings of deprivation among members of society.
Another study conducted by a university in Portugal concluded that every 1% increase in a country’s education index results in an approximately 3% decrease in total lottery sales, for people aged 65 and over. are the largest consumers of lottery products, while young people aged 15 to 29 consume the least because they prefer instant games.
This is because racial culture does not play an important role in class-based play. Those who lack autonomy and express feelings of futility about their daily routines spend significantly more money on lottery tickets, a fact that has been consistently asserted in numerous qualitative studies.
The game distracts players from making real efforts to reduce their disadvantaged upward mobility positions, which could result in less investment in education, fewer community activities, or more non-voters.
In summary, the game is significantly related to social contexts and structure and not to a cultural trait tied to a particular race, as politicians on both sides of the divide have explained in questioning the government’s decision. of Kedah not to renew the operating licenses of Kedah operators. when they expire.
Oddly enough, the 4D game is believed to originate in Kedah, based on evidence in a game trial in a Singapore court in 1956, in which a Penang detective was brought to Singapore to testify as a witness. expert in the case of a family who had been caught running an illegal gambling operation there. According to him, the lottery started in Kedah in 1951, when a schoolboy raffled tickets with two-digit numbers on his bicycle. The winner would be the ticket number corresponding to the last two digits of the first prize ticket in a Malaysian Turf Club raffle.
This question of the Kedah government not renewing NFO licenses would only push players to buy from illegal betting unions. As it stands, illegal unions would take away much of NFO’s legitimate business and cost the government some RM 3 billion in tax revenue each year. The activities of these illegal 4D operations have become larger and more sophisticated over the past decade; participants can now even purchase via WhatsApp.
NFO revenues are estimated at RM 9 billion with a sales tax amounting to around RM 2 billion per year for the country. And illegal 4D operations are said to be one and a half to two times larger than legitimate NFOs, meaning the government could lose up to RM3 billion a year in taxes.
The silence of the federal government is a sign of acquiescence to the decision of the Kedah government.
Where does the federal government plan to find new sources of revenue to replace those of the 45 stores operated by the DaMaCai, SportsToto and Magnum franchises in Kedah? – November 21, 2021.
* FLK reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the author or post and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.