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Scratch EZ Match

I can’t say this comes as a surprise.

EZ Match is a scratch.

The Texas Lottery Commission pulled the plug Friday on the proposed game that would have allowed players to become instant winners by handing their money to a clerk for a ticket printed from a lottery terminal.

Commission staff had described the game as another way to deliver the sort of instant gratification players enjoy with scratch tickets, since they would not have had to wait for a drawing.

Conservative groups and other critics, however, had charged that the game would be a big step toward slot machines, which lawmakers have refused to approve.

“As long as I am chairman, it is never my intent nor my wish or desire that we overstep our bounds in regards to our authority for making rules,” said commission Chair Mary Ann Williamson.


Commission staff had emphasized that the ticket could be purchased only through a clerk, not directly from a machine. Proposed rules had specified the game would not be played on a video lottery terminal.

The commission’s assistant general counsel, Pete Wassdorf, had said the only similarity to a video lottery machine is that the ticket would have been purchased from an electronic machine, but that the differences were far greater.

Yes, and those differences are what made the game sound deadly boring to me. If you’re going to put out a new tax on people’s innumeracy, the least you can do is give them a bit of a thrill for their money. Never mind the claims about a back-door expansion of gambling, I never saw how this game was going to appeal to anyone. Now we’ll never know, though I figure the Commission will find a way to try again with something similar. We’ll see if they can do any better.

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