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In the 1970s, opposition to the lottery started to fracture in the US. This study examines causes of the fracture and historical factors that contributed to changes in individual attitudes towards legalization. The opponents at the time held to traditional arguments against legalized lotteries—negative economic effects, costs to others and increased crime. Unlike in the past, however, there was weak religious institutional opposition to lotteries. Individuals with a strong commitment to their religious affiliation were more resistant to pro-lottery arguments, but in most cases could be convinced to support the lottery. The pre-World War II generation remained steadfast against the lottery, but there was relatively greater support among the post-World War II generation. This study has examined the 1975 survey data using a logit model to predict future legalization in states with large population samples. As expected, analysis of 1975 attitudes shows that states with low levels of opposition are likely to legalize lotteries earlier than states with high levels of opposition.


The item available here for download is the authors' final version of an article originally published online in International Gambling Studies, February 17 2007, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 267-291.

The final publication is available at Taylor & Francis via