State-run lotteries are the most popular form of commercial gambling in the U.S., with half or more Americans participating in any given year, and the average American spends more money on lotteries than on reading materials or movie theaters. Lotteries constitute an implicit tax similar to excise taxes on goods like cigarettes and alcohol. They are generally considered poor tax policy because they are regressive, not transparent to taxpayers, and aren't neutral and therefore distort economic behavior.
Additional questions about lottery and gambling taxes? Contact us at (202) 464-6200.