Florida Considers Lottery Warning Labels

All lottery tickets and advertisements would include a gambling addiction notice under the proposal.

May 08, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida senators have proposed slapping all lottery tickets with a warning about gambling addiction, The Lottery Post reports. The Senate version would require lottery tickets and advertisements to put one of two warnings on them: “Play responsibly,” and “Warning: Lottery games may be addictive.”
Earlier this year, the House approved a similar version that mandated a longer message: “Warning: Playing a Lottery game constitutes gambling and may lead to addiction and/or compulsive behavior. The chances of winning a big prize are very low.”
House Speaker José Oliva backed the House version and has said he also would vote for the Senate one. “I think it’s important that somewhere on the face of that ticket someone at least have a moment of reflection to understand what they’re engaging in and hopefully play responsibly,” he said.
Florida Lottery Secretary Jim Poppell opposes the Senate version because of the expanded nature of where the warnings should be. “A warning label that would have to be on just about everything that could be construed as promoting the lottery,” he said. “That would be vending machines, play stations where you get your paper to bubble in the numbers, on every sign, on every advertisement—radio, television, social media, what have you.”
Annual lottery sales have ballooned to more than $6 billion since Florida first started selling tickets in 1988. The money is earmarked for education.