Lottery tickets sold in Florida could get warning labels

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For years, there have been warning labels on cigarettes. Soon, there may be warnings on something else you can buy at most gas stations and grocery stores – lottery tickets, including scratch-offs and draw-play game Powerball and Mega Millions.

Tickets sold by the Florida Lottery cost $1 to $25, and are sold at more than 13,000 locations across the state, including hundreds of locations in the Tampa Bay area.

Florida Republican Representative Jennifer Sullivan of Mount Dora wants any lottery ticket sold by the Florida Lottery to come with a warning that gambling can be addictive. She says that lottery tickets are a government-sponsored activity, and therefore should bear the same kind of warnings found on cigarettes.

Sullivan’s bill requests that there be signs everywhere that lottery tickets are sold, as well as verbiage printed on lottery tickets that warns about gambling addictions. The Touring and Gaming Control Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives agrees, and has voted for the bill, but it’s not a winner yet. A companion measure hasn’t been heard yet in the Florida Senate.

If the bill were to become law, it would take effect on January 1, 2018.

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