The Wisconsin Lottery turns 20-years-old this year, but that's nothing to celebrate for a state legislative leader. Senate President Fred Risser has been a leading opponent of the lottery. "I think when people started the lottery, they did not realize it would be opening the date to full scale casino gambling," says the Madison Democrat. But, that's what happened after courts ruled state's that had lotteries had to allow Native Americans to operate casinos. The Lottery was sold back in the 1980s as a way to generate money for property tax relief, but Risser says that hasn't panned out. "My property taxes keep going up," observes Risser. "I suppose some people could argue that they're not going up as fast as they could, but I don't really think it's meant that much, to most people."
The first lottery tickets in the state were sold September 14th, 1988. Since then, nearly $8 BILLION worth of tickets have been sold.