Monday, May 02, 2011

Lottery Arbitrage

Here's another one that may be old news to everyone but me: apparently Baltimore has traditionally nurtured a healthy numbers racket.  Along came a legalized lottery-- but it it did not destroy the numbers game.  Evidently the numbers guys continued as before, only using the lottery numbers and paying bigger prizes.  I assume the point would be that the numbers guys aren't burdened with all that nonsense about public purpose, support the schools, whatever.  For them, it's only money.  

1 comment:

Ken Houghton said...

Makes sense: there should be a point on the Utility Curve for a significant section of the population where they are indifferent between financing the schools and (financing the mob & having a chance to make some money).

Some economist should find a way to gather the data and then optimize local property taxes at the derived level (presumably higher than the current one, since people are willing to play both lotteries in the first place--except that many lottery players don't pay property taxes directly).