WASHINGTON — President Reagan said Monday that he is "sorry" California has adopted a statewide lottery, calling it "a little bit undignified" for a state to rely on gambling as a means of raising revenue.
"I don't exactly like the idea of government engaging in gambling," Reagan said at a luncheon with regional editors and broadcasters when asked about the increasing number of states adopting lotteries to raise money for education and other purposes. California voters approved a lottery in November, 1984.
Reagan noted that a lottery had been discussed when he was governor of California from 1967 to 1975, and suggested that he opposed the idea then as well.
"Call me a prude if you want to," he said, "but I just think there's something a little bit undignified in appealing to people's desire to gamble (for a state) to raise its revenues."
Reagan, who has generally opposed federal tax increases, said states "ought to be able to raise (revenues) the legitimate way."