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bamhand
Apr 15, 2010


Domus posted:

If you have to ask if it's rigged, the answer is almost always "yes". I can't think of many exceptions...the state lotteries perhaps?

If carnival games are rigged then lotteries and casinos are also rigged by the same definition. They're all specifically designed so they take in more money than they give out.

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Craptacular
Jul 11, 2004



Carnival games are rigged in the sense that they employ deception to make it seem like the games are easier to win then they actually are. At least lotteries tell you the odds up front.

Blue Moonlight
Apr 28, 2005
Bitter and Sarcastic

bamhand posted:

If carnival games are rigged then lotteries and casinos are also rigged by the same definition. They're all specifically designed so they take in more money than they give out.

I donít know thatís true - lotteries and casinos are strictly regulated. Itís common knowledge that ďthe house always wins,Ē but theyíre doing it according to a rule book that is public knowledge, if not law.

Some guy bending the rims on his hoop game isnít operating to any regulation or spec.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



This is just me, but I'd welcome any analysis of the actual tricks or processes that anything from casinos to corporations to street-level conmen use to get people to do something that they otherwise wouldn't.

IMO, casinos and lotteries are scams. You need your mind clouded at least a little to part with your money for these things, even if you "know" you won't win and you just do it for a mild "thrill."

Great, now what? What are their mechanisms? How do they manage to avoid being popularly labeled as scams, or how do we as a culture offload the responsibility from them onto their victims? How do they leverage power structures to maintain their dominance, and how much are they like 'legitimate' businesses or religions? What's the truth of what's going on and how can we self-inoculate? I'm interested in stuff like that. I dunno, any good documentaries or anything?

Reminds me, I need to find a copy of Randi's Flim-Flam!

Captain Monkey
Aug 23, 2007



Casinos are fun, but it's just paid entertainment. If you keep that in mind, casinos change from 'scam and rip off!' to 'drink with your friends for a few hours playing a game'. It's an expensive diversion, but the odds for every single game are easily looked up, same with the lotto. I used to go to the casino and have fun, you just pull out x amount of money and consider it the cost of the evening. If you walk out with part of it, or more, then bonus. Otherwise, that was your entertainment for the night.

bamhand
Apr 15, 2010


Blue Moonlight posted:

I donít know thatís true - lotteries and casinos are strictly regulated. Itís common knowledge that ďthe house always wins,Ē but theyíre doing it according to a rule book that is public knowledge, if not law.

Some guy bending the rims on his hoop game isnít operating to any regulation or spec.

I mean you should just assume that anyone doing something as a business is doing it to make money and they wouldn't be doing it if they're losing money in the process. Then it becomes pretty obvious that the carnival games are designed to take in more than they're paying out, the mechanism in which they do it is irrelevant.

TheParadigm
Dec 10, 2009



I came across someone, a while ago, who made a habit out of playing the state lottery. Of the sort of 'pick up a ticket once or twice a month, regularly, and see if they come out ahead' sort of deal, not as an addiction.

I was curious and ended up learning a few neat things about it. State lotteries are a lot less rigged, or at least rigged fairly. At least out here, odds of winning have to be printed on the ticket, and more importantly, there's several websites which track winners in a given period.

I don't have it on hand any more, but its printed in the lottery reciept. I think it might have been winners report?

This is the thing that sets the state lottery apart: There's tools to see which lotteries have paid out - and which haven't - as well as what the base odds are.

If you know where to look, its sort of like being able to go into the slot machine section and know which machines still have money on them.

Its a small difference, but In my mind, this puts lottieries less into 'scam' and more 'transparently unfair'. Its overall made to make money for the state.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Captain Monkey posted:

Casinos are fun, but it's just paid entertainment. If you keep that in mind, casinos change from 'scam and rip off!' to 'drink with your friends for a few hours playing a game'. It's an expensive diversion, but the odds for every single game are easily looked up, same with the lotto. I used to go to the casino and have fun, you just pull out x amount of money and consider it the cost of the evening. If you walk out with part of it, or more, then bonus. Otherwise, that was your entertainment for the night.

Yeah this is 100% the mentality you have to have. My dad is really big into horse racing and we go as a family once a year for his birthday. Invariably he goes in with an attitude that he's going to win, ends up blowing more money than he planned to bet, and gets pissed off and depressed by the end of the night. Meanwhile my mom and I set aside x amount of dollars we plan to spend on the experience + food and drink, and budget our bets around that expecting to lose it all. If strike gold and come out winning more than you budgeted, that's great! If you just win a little bit, then hey you came in under budget! And if you lose every race, than whatever I spent $150 to hang out with my family for a day and drink, I've had way more expensive nights out that were less fun. Casinos are the same way.

The trick too is to not re-invest your winnings into more gambling. If you come in with $200 and win on your first $10 bet, set it aside and play as if you only have $190 left.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





TheParadigm posted:

I came across someone, a while ago, who made a habit out of playing the state lottery. Of the sort of 'pick up a ticket once or twice a month, regularly, and see if they come out ahead' sort of deal, not as an addiction.

I was curious and ended up learning a few neat things about it. State lotteries are a lot less rigged, or at least rigged fairly. At least out here, odds of winning have to be printed on the ticket, and more importantly, there's several websites which track winners in a given period.

I don't have it on hand any more, but its printed in the lottery reciept. I think it might have been winners report?

This is the thing that sets the state lottery apart: There's tools to see which lotteries have paid out - and which haven't - as well as what the base odds are.

If you know where to look, its sort of like being able to go into the slot machine section and know which machines still have money on them.

Its a small difference, but In my mind, this puts lottieries less into 'scam' and more 'transparently unfair'. Its overall made to make money for the state.

make money for legislators, you mean

my state legislature got bribed to pass a lottery bill, the news came out in the newspaper before they voted on it, and they still forced it through by calling a special session when one guy was in surgery and one guy was on his honeymoon so they could eke out a majority

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

I'm sorry, everyone.

doctorfrog posted:

This is just me, but I'd welcome any analysis of the actual tricks or processes that anything from casinos to corporations to street-level conmen use to get people to do something that they otherwise wouldn't.

IMO, casinos and lotteries are scams. You need your mind clouded at least a little to part with your money for these things, even if you "know" you won't win and you just do it for a mild "thrill."

Great, now what? What are their mechanisms?

For casinos, basically ensuring the odds always favor the house at 51-49%. After that, it's all about keeping people playing for as along as possible in order to ramp up the proceeds from those odds.

They eliminate windows so you don't know what time it is, put the biggest winning slots near the front and do things like route traffic in ways similar to what grocery stores do to encourage more shopping and impulse buys. They give out free drinks to make people impulsive. Casinos in and of themselves aren't "scams" and to compare what they do to what carnival games do is off the mark.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

Domus posted:

If you have to ask if it's rigged, the answer is almost always "yes". I can't think of many exceptions...the state lotteries perhaps?

State lotteries aren't "rigged" so much as "massively stacked in favor of the state." The odds are atrocious enough that they're definitely a scam especially when you look at scratchies. I think it's a federal law that they have to publish the odds so they aren't difficult to find but...ugh. Just go look at the odds.

Seriously.

Just look at the loving odds. You'd probably be more likely to make a profit on just lighting the money you'd spend on lottery tickets on fire then uploading the videos of it to YouTube.

greazeball
Feb 4, 2003





BiggerBoat posted:

For casinos, basically ensuring the odds always favor the house at 51-49%. After that, it's all about keeping people playing for as along as possible in order to ramp up the proceeds from those odds.

They eliminate windows so you don't know what time it is, put the biggest winning slots near the front and do things like route traffic in ways similar to what grocery stores do to encourage more shopping and impulse buys. They give out free drinks to make people impulsive. Casinos in and of themselves aren't "scams" and to compare what they do to what carnival games do is off the mark.

These are the odds at optimal play, too. Keeping people drunk, sleep-deprived and disoriented improves that a bit I suspect. Then they make sure that big wins get noticed: lights, bells, special treatment... make sure everyone sees the big winner! There's the free perks you get for playing more too, anything to keep you at the table longer: I'll get a room upgrade if I just make it through this bad patch, OK well maybe a free buffet, etc.

The average gambling budget for a trip to Vegas in 2016 was $578. I had $100 a day for my fun money and once it worked out great and once I went to bed early 3 nights in a row.

Corgiflop
Dec 1, 2005

Maximum Derp



Sydin posted:

Yeah this is 100% the mentality you have to have. My dad is really big into horse racing and we go as a family once a year for his birthday. Invariably he goes in with an attitude that he's going to win, ends up blowing more money than he planned to bet, and gets pissed off and depressed by the end of the night.

Big time. This is why I find casinos really depressing - while I tend to stick to a small budget the few times I have gone, I talk to far too many people expecting to win big so they can pay off [x-y-z] bills and debts, only for them to wind up even further in a hole.

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014

A true renaissance man




I just watched the John Oliver video and holy poo poo these people are just pulling basic EVE Online scams.

MightyJoe36
Dec 29, 2013

Cat Army


Tunicate posted:

make money for legislators, you mean

my state legislature got bribed to pass a lottery bill, the news came out in the newspaper before they voted on it, and they still forced it through by calling a special session when one guy was in surgery and one guy was on his honeymoon so they could eke out a majority

Yes and the biggest scam is "lottery money pays for education." So we have a ton of lotteries, casinos, and still we have a school levy every other year and my property tax keeps going up.

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


MightyJoe36 posted:

Yes and the biggest scam is "lottery money pays for education." So we have a ton of lotteries, casinos, and still we have a school levy every other year and my property tax keeps going up.

your state may suck for some reason but lotteries often do pay for supplemental education on the state level beyond local control of school funding

the basic idea of lotteries is that people are going to gamble anyway, so you may as well bring it into the open and tax it for public good rather than leaving it up to organized crime to take their profits. this is why alcohol and tobacco are legal and taxed, and is one of the big arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana. even in the mid 20th century illegal lotteries were popular, and one of the things that police vice squads would suppress along with drugs and prostitution was underground gambling

the way that schools are funded in the united states takes place on a different level of government from the regulation of gambling and the distribution of proceeds. but states, assuming they are trying to reallocate the government's take of gambling earnings for public benefit, can often fund state-level programs. i live in a state where the lottery paid for my undergraduate degree, and currently pays for my child's pre-k schooling. i buy scratch off tickets every once in a while because as far as i'm concerned i've already won over $20k, which is what the state gave me to cover my tuition at a state university

Domus
May 7, 2007

Kidney Buddies


I just think that anything that's essentially gambling needs to be marked as so with the odds. It would kill my former employer who did coin-op, but I hate that so much poo poo is "percentaged" but appears as skill. It may sound silly, but isn't it kinda scummy to run a claw machine without disclosing that it's impossible to win most of the time?

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





luxury handset posted:

your state may suck for some reason but lotteries often do pay for supplemental education on the state level beyond local control of school funding


money is fungible, it just reduces the amount the state provides through other sources,

Happy Thread
Jul 9, 2005
Probation
Can't post for 41 hours!


Plaster Town Cop

luxury handset posted:

your state may suck for some reason but lotteries often do pay for supplemental education on the state level beyond local control of school funding

Wasn't there some post recently about how states were freely able to take from this fund, diverting lottery money from education to wherever they need it at the time? It was either lottery or property tax or both where someone was pointing out that the money often does not ultimately end up where it was designated for

Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013




Domus posted:

isn't it kinda scummy to run a claw machine without disclosing that it's impossible to win most of the time?
Imho.

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016

Someone had to do it.

BiggerBoat posted:

For casinos, basically ensuring the odds always favor the house at 51-49%. After that, it's all about keeping people playing for as along as possible in order to ramp up the proceeds from those odds.

They eliminate windows so you don't know what time it is, put the biggest winning slots near the front and do things like route traffic in ways similar to what grocery stores do to encourage more shopping and impulse buys. They give out free drinks to make people impulsive. Casinos in and of themselves aren't "scams" and to compare what they do to what carnival games do is off the mark.

They also tend to be very well lit so it always feels like daytime, have extremely soft and comfortable carpeting when you walk around, and it's very hard to actually see where exits are

Parallelwoody
Apr 9, 2008



In TN they started up a state lottery a while ago campaigning that "x millions will go into schools!" Which was technically correct, but what wasn't said is that previous school funding from other sources would be removed and lost to the ether (someone's pocket). I don't think something with published odds that sticks to it is a scam, but the bullshit they used to justify creating one certainly was.

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Tunicate posted:

money is fungible, it just reduces the amount the state provides through other sources,

not really. pigovian taxes are a distinct funding source from bond issuance or sales tax or property tax or whatever

Dumb Lowtax posted:

Wasn't there some post recently about how states were freely able to take from this fund,

there's fifty states so you're going to have to be more specific

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





luxury handset posted:

not really. pigovian taxes are a distinct funding source from bond issuance or sales tax or property tax or whatever


In actual fact, the amount of money going to education from the general fund was slashed, and - I stress this actually happened, and isn't a hypothetical - the percentage of the total state budget going to education has been reduced since the lottery was established. To cover their asses, the legislators made sure to strip out the 'lottery funds will only be used to supplement education, rather than substitute for other education funding sources' from the final version of the bill, so they sure as hell knew they were doing that.


So yeah, you're regurgitating propaganda from a corrupt industry. Stop doing that.

Blue Moonlight
Apr 28, 2005
Bitter and Sarcastic

So, to summarize, the common con/scam is representative democracy.

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Tunicate posted:

In actual fact, the amount of money going to education from the general fund was slashed, and - I stress this actually happened, and isn't a hypothetical - the percentage of the total state budget going to education has been reduced since the lottery was established. To cover their asses, the legislators made sure to strip out the 'lottery funds will only be used to supplement education, rather than substitute for other education funding sources' from the final version of the bill, so they sure as hell knew they were doing that.


So yeah, you're regurgitating propaganda from a corrupt industry. Stop doing that.

your state government

you seem to be blaming the concept of the lottery here when describing how elected officials in your state behaved dishonestly. there are many states, each works differently

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


luxury handset posted:

your state government

you seem to be blaming the concept of the lottery here when describing how elected officials in your state behaved dishonestly. there are many states, each works differently

Sit, my child, and let me tell you a tale about Tammany Hall...

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





that's a universal consequence of "education" lottery spending across all states, dude. It happens with every education lottery, which makes them a very common type of scam.


quote:

Lotteries for Education: Windfall or Hoax?
The popularity of lotteries and legalized gambling is based in part on their claim to painlessly provide additional revenue for needed state functions. Most of these revenues have been earmarked for education. However, in this study, we have demonstrated that lotteries are false promises for education. In fact, states are likely to decrease their spending for education upon operating lotteries designated for that purpose. Furthermore, the decrease in the rate of growth is a long-term function of lottery adoption that occurs regardless of revenue generated by the lottery.

quote:

Can students truly benefit from state lotteries: a look at lottery expenditures towards education in the American states

Can students truly benefit from state lotteries? The primary purpose of this paper has been to demonstrate that games of chance such as the lottery can play a significant role in generating valuable revenue for enhancing public educational expenditures. This relationship has not been supported by analysis of the data. When these benefits are assessed over time, the statistical models report that lotteries are not impacting education financing in the manner they were intended.
(This paper also concluded that on average "For each dollar per capita of lottery revenue, one could expect education spending (real per capita) to decline by $28")

quote:

Earmarked Lottery Revenues for Education: A New Test of Fungibility
The empirical findings here provide evidence that earmarked net lottery revenues for education in Ohio have not led to an increase in education expenditures. Educational expenditures appear to be offset by the full amount of net lottery revenues, thus suggesting that earmarking of lottery revenues provides no guarantee that expenditures on the targeted source will in fact increase. The findings here regarding the diversion of earmarked funds are in accordance with theoretical predictions, and lend support to the implications made in past empirical studies.

quote:

The Lottery and Education: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul?
In each of the seven states studied, lottery revenues were earmarked, but despite the earmarking, lottery revenues were fungible

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


did you google a bunch of paywalled academic articles without reading them? anyway here's the tldr of a more recent article

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brow...gher-education/

i get that you may be invested in winning this argument but i'm not quite sure you know what you're talking about so go ahead and take the last word if you want it

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





luxury handset posted:

did you google a bunch of paywalled academic articles without reading them? a

Don't be like that, dude. I even went to the additional trouble of posting excerpts from those articles for people who don't have journal access.

Happy Thread
Jul 9, 2005
Probation
Can't post for 41 hours!


Plaster Town Cop

Tunicate posted:

Don't be like that, dude. I even went to the additional trouble of posting excerpts from those articles for people who don't have journal access.

Just spotted a scam right here in this thread! Observe how this poster has quoted the words of another poster. I, doing due diligence, took it upon myself to scroll up and double check. But upon arriving at the same post being quoted, found it to be altered, truncating the word "anyway" to "a"! Your scam almost fooled me, but clearly with no integrity to stand on you lose the argument about lotteries

Pekinduck
May 10, 2008


An amusing thing about scratch-offs: A series of scratchers is printed in one batch with a set number of grand prize winners. Once all the grand prizes are won and claimed the state is free to sell the remaining tickets even though they cannot be winners. Arguably its "fair" since the initial odds remain the same but there's a good chance the "win 1 mil bux!!" tickets at your local gas station have a known 0% chance of winning.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Pekinduck posted:

An amusing thing about scratch-offs: A series of scratchers is printed in one batch with a set number of grand prize winners. Once all the grand prizes are won and claimed the state is free to sell the remaining tickets even though they cannot be winners. Arguably its "fair" since the initial odds remain the same but there's a good chance the "win 1 mil bux!!" tickets at your local gas station have a known 0% chance of winning.

If the state knows that there's no chance for people to win anymore prizes and is still selling tickets then they're lying and this is fraud.

Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013




Absurd Alhazred posted:

If the state knows that there's no chance for people to win anymore prizes and is still selling tickets then they're lying and this is fraud.
Pretty steep burden of proof what with the information asymmetry.

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!



I donít know if itís a legal requirement, but this page exists for us -
https://www.flalottery.com/remainingPrizes which is useful.

I found a couple of $10 winners here that got put aside, but they have a time limit for claims which sucks.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

I'm sorry, everyone.

Pekinduck posted:

An amusing thing about scratch-offs: A series of scratchers is printed in one batch with a set number of grand prize winners. Once all the grand prizes are won and claimed the state is free to sell the remaining tickets even though they cannot be winners. Arguably its "fair" since the initial odds remain the same but there's a good chance the "win 1 mil bux!!" tickets at your local gas station have a known 0% chance of winning.

I hate scratch off tickets and find it depressing watching people who I know don't have the money compulsively buying them all the time. It's a tax on desperation and stupidity and I see people all the time just standing around gas stations and queing back up line after scratching them all until they bust out.

BUT, there is an app or a website or something that will actually tell you which ones have had how many winners and how many remain so technically you can increase your odds or avoid buying ones with no more winners left.

EDIT BEATEN

EL BROMANCE posted:

I donít know if itís a legal requirement, but this page exists for us -
https://www.flalottery.com/remainingPrizes which is useful.

I found a couple of $10 winners here that got put aside, but they have a time limit for claims which sucks.


Also, this breakdown:

quote:

For 2017-18, 52.0 percent will be distributed to school districts, 11.9 percent to 6 Page 11 the Florida College System, 13.1 percent to the state universities, 20.0 percent to Bright Futures and 3.0 percent to other student financial aid.

http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7507/urlt/Lotbook.pdf

of where Florida lottery money goes relating to schools surprised me since it actually adds up to 100%. I have a difficult time believing that.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


For what it's worth I finally quit my first real job at a convenience store/gas station after 3 years because the day abruptly arrived when something clicked in my brain, like a key in a lock, and I realized with perfect clarity that I would never, ever, sell another lottery ticket as long as I live. I walked into the office and gave notice, spent two weeks calmly refusing to hear anything of being talked out of it, and fifteen years later I can still promise you that I will never, ever sell another lottery ticket as long as I live.

It's real bad.

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

A few years ago, as a favor to a co-worker, I was involved in a panel held by the Georgia state lottery commission on how to improve the game. I did this twice a couple of years apart.

There were about a dozen of us and we all basically agreed that scratch-offs were garbage. While we understood that not every ticket could be a winner, we all agreed that the smallest prize you should win should be the value of the purchase price. Paying $10 for a ticket and only winning a dollar somehow seemed worse than not winning anything at all.

We were paid $50, was served lunch, and got 20 $1 tickets. I ended up winning about $75. The second time was $75, lunch, and the same tickets (I won about $40).

I had only bought 5-10 tickets in the past and probably broke even.

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!



My wife would pick some up every now and again, and we did win a $1,000 on a $10 card once. I never really put my own money on them more than a few times, so I like to think Iíve beaten the system overall.

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Remulak
Jun 8, 2001

The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics. Oh, and that stupid children's book 'The Little Prince,' ugh.


Yams Fan

I remember reading that most oldschool numbers rackets had better odds than state lotteries. Canít find it with google though.

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