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Recycled scratch cards

Save your old scratchcards up and exchange them for a ticket
  [vote for,

I don't know if you have noticed it, but generally the streets outside shops/etc are often littered with used lottery scratchcards. Why don't the lottery people do something about it? They could introduce a scheme that if you collect 20 used scratch cards and hand them into a retailer, they could give you a free lucky draw National Lottery ticket, or another scratchcard. The retailer would then send these back to the National Lottery who would then recycle the used scratchcards into new ones. People would be actively picking up litter from the street, making the UK a cleaner place to live in at last.
Bantam, Dec 30 2002

"How do I deduct and substantiate my gambling losses?" http://www.irs.gov/...,id%3D15662,00.html
[Monkfish, Oct 04 2004]

"How do I deduct and substantiate my gambling losses?" http://www.irs.gov/faqs/faq3.html
Above link broken, they must've moved it. [Loris, Oct 04 2004]


       Since gambling is a compulsion this will work well. Many people won't even throw them away, others will pck 'em up. Although, the lottery requires revenues for prizes. Perhaps the 'buy twenty tickets get one free' policy may increase sales.
ImBack, Dec 30 2002

       In the US “second chance” drawings are common, but the motivation is somewhat sinister. Apparently you can keep all your losing tickets and somehow deduct your total losses for the year from your taxes. They have drawings to encourage people to 1) clean up, and 2) get rid of the losing tickets.
Shz, Dec 30 2002

       Though I've never had any need to exercise the option, as I understand it, losses are only deductible as an offset to winnings.
half, Dec 30 2002

       I’m not a gambler, so I don’t know the details of how it works on the consumer side, but I do know people who collect them for that reason, and that it’s not worth nearly enough to be considered a tax ‘haven’, though it's apparently worthwhile doing. However, I do know that the government retains more money by running low payoff random drawings that entice people to forfeit the deductions they could have otherwise claimed. (friend used to work for them)
Shz, Dec 30 2002

       I’m going to guess that [half] is correct and the deductible can only be applied as an offset to reported winnings. Losses of course statistically outweigh winnings in a lottery as a whole. I’ll find out and anno back with the details…
Shz, Dec 30 2002

       The deduction is an offset to claimed winnings only. If you claimed $4000 winnings, and $4000 losses you would save about $300 in taxes owed because of the deductions. I wouldn’t say that puts you ahead by any means.   

       The reason losses are deductible makes me sick. It’s aimed at the more compulsive gamblers (the same ones who would have enough losses to bother writing them off in the first place). It’s psychological. A loss is somehow not so bad if you can put it in your pocket and say oh well, I’ll add that one to my tax write off. Since they’re not frustrated by losses as quickly, they buy more tickets. When it was implemented, overall revenue rose significantly.
Shz, Dec 31 2002

       The tax-deductibility of losses against gains is allowed in the lottery for the same reason that it is allowed in other forms of gambling, though with an ironic twist: without such ability, the odds on even the most player-friendly games would be so horrendous as to make players lose money too fast.   

       For example, a player placing $1 bets on the "pass" bar at craps can expect to win about 49% of the time. This means 49% of the time he will win $1, and 51% of the time he will lose $1. A player cannot expect to make money in the long run at such a game, however a player may play thousands of times if he has $25 to gamble with.   

       Suppose, however, that the government took income tax on all winnings (without allowing deductions for losses). In such case, every loss would cost the player $1, but every win would only net him about $0.70. Every two rolls would, on average, cost the player $0.30. Suddenly playing would be much more expensive but not nearly as much fun.   

       The ironic twist is that lotteries generally offer such horrible odds to begin with that taking another 30% off the winnings without allowing it to be offset by losses would affect it much less than it would casino gambling.
supercat, Dec 31 2002

       (The idea is apparently to tax only net gambling income. This is reasonable; if the government treates winnings as income, it makes sense to offset losses as "investment".   

       Since very few heavy gamblers come out ahead, very few of those who document their gambling will actually pay taxes on their winnings. This makes it seem extremely unlikely that "when it was implemented, overall revenue rose significantly". Reference?   

       The theory that the U.S. government is keenly interested in making compulsive gamblers of its citizens looks arbitrary and conspiracist. If it is, it can't be for financial reasons.   

       None of this has anything to do with recycling scratch cards.)
Monkfish, Dec 31 2002

       // None of this has anything to do with recycling scratch cards //   

       That’s correct, and it was not my intention to steer people that far away from the original idea.....just answering questions... I think the idea would work great in the UK. +   

       Off to party now! Maybe this year I won't wake up in Canada.
Shz, Dec 31 2002

       Happy new year (for the last 13 hours here, already)! I'm very interested to know what happens to all the silvery stuff that gets scratched off. Is it biodegradable? if not, are we gonna be wading around in the stuff for centuries? Could it be made out of something useful? Where does it all end up?
briandamage, Dec 31 2002


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