Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 21, 2014, 9:19 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Final Wyoming Senate vote on lottery bill coming Friday

Wyoming LotteryWyoming Lottery: Final Wyoming Senate vote on lottery bill coming Friday
52
Rating:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A bill that would allow a Wyoming lottery and multi-state games such as Powerball received preliminary approval in the state Senate on Wednesday.

The senate voted 17-to-12 to advance the bill. It already has passed the House and would need two more votes in the Senate. It's scheduled for its final vote Friday.

The bill would allow a state lottery or multi-state games, but would not allow the sale of instant tickets, scratch-off tickets or electronic games.

Supporters of the bill say Wyoming residents already are playing the lottery, spending millions of dollars in neighboring states on tickets. Lottery opponents say it's a form of gambling and a tax that disproportionately affects the poor.

Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, is chairman of the Senate Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee, which had recommended approval of the bill.

Burns said a Wyoming lottery is estimated to bring in about $25 million a year. He said about $6 million of that would be net proceeds distributed to Wyoming cities and counties.

The bill calls for setting up a corporation to administer the lottery in the state. Burns said that salary and benefits of the corporation's officers and staff would be determined by directors appointed by the governor.

Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, said that subtracting $6 million from the estimated $25 million annual proceeds would leave $19 million. He noted that the bill says that at least 45 percent of that would go to prize money, leaving more than $10 million to administer the program.

"If that is correct, what are we going to spend that $10.5 million on," Hicks said.

Bill sponsor Sen. Michael Von Flatern, R-Laramie, responded, "We don't know, that's the bottom line. That's why those percentages are put in there."

Von Flatern noted that the Legislature's Revenue Committee would review the lottery corporation's budget.

Sen. Fred Emerich, R-Cheyenne, is also a sponsor. He said the lottery in North Dakota brings in $21.1 million of which he said $11.4 million goes to prizes and $3.7 to administration, leaving $6 million in proceeds.

Sen. Phil Nicholas, R-Laramie, expressed concern about how accountable the lottery corporation would be in Wyoming.

"When I hear $21 million income, and $3.7 million for administration, you've created a quasi-governmental entity," said Nicholas, a lawyer.

While the Legislature has the ability to look at the books of other quasi-governmental agencies such as the state's Pipeline Authority and the Business Council, Nicholas said he was concerned about similar access to records of the proposed lottery corporation.

"Ultimately, you're saying, 'here guys, you get the status of a quasi-public entity, we're not going to look at your salaries, we're not going to look at your expenses,'" Nicholas said. "How do we know, five years from now, we're going to find out if you're lucky enough to be the president of this entity, you're going to get $1.2 million because it's such a hard job? Where's the regulatory aspect of this, where does it begin and where does it end."

The Senate defeated an amendment Nicholas suggested that would have directed proceeds from the lottery to a state fund that supports public schools.

Sen. Paul Barnard, R-Evanston, noted that the bill would earmark up to $200,000 of unclaimed prize money annually to the Wyoming Department of Health to treat problem gambling.

Barnard said the money might be enough to treat 40 people at most. "I think that's woefully underfunded," he said, adding he expects to see an increase in divorce and crime if the state passes the lottery bill.

AP

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

8 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by jamella724.
Page 1 of 1
sully16's avatar - sharan
Listens to the wind
Michigan
United States
Member #81740
October 28, 2009
20616 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 22, 2013, 9:04 am - IP Logged

I hope it passes, it would certainly help the players, must be a pain in the butt constantly driving to another state to play. Would save the players gas money and the savings might go towards the lottery.Hyper

There's only one US Flag


    United States
    Member #116272
    September 7, 2011
    20244 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 22, 2013, 9:13 am - IP Logged

    I hope it passes, it would certainly help the players, must be a pain in the butt constantly driving to another state to play. Would save the players gas money and the savings might go towards the lottery.Hyper

    I Agree! Its fun to get an extra ticket or two when passing by my local gas station.

      mightwin's avatar - questns

      United States
      Member #103789
      January 5, 2011
      448 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 22, 2013, 10:45 am - IP Logged

      Hopefully it passes!

        HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
        Idaho
        United States
        Member #94285
        July 17, 2010
        1706 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 22, 2013, 10:54 am - IP Logged

        The bill would allow a state lottery or multi-state games, but would not allow the sale of instant tickets, scratch-off tickets or electronic games.

         

        What are instant tickets and electronic games?

         

        So the lottery causes divorce and crime, huh?  That's a new one on me.

          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
          United States
          Member #73904
          April 28, 2009
          14903 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 22, 2013, 12:51 pm - IP Logged

          They should have a scratcher that provides a hunting trip with Dick Cheney as the grand prize.

            Avatar
            New Member
            Laramie Wyoming
            United States
            Member #139430
            February 22, 2013
            4 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 22, 2013, 12:58 pm - IP Logged

            yeah right! the lottery causes divorce and crimes...lol....that is just a myth the people against a lottery always use to say it is bad...also the one where if Wyoming were to get a lottery the poor people would be spending all their money on it....studies have shown poor people are most likely to spend their money on scratch tickets since they want the instant win not the jackpot wins where they have to wait until the drawing and the Wyoming Lottery Bill does not allow for instant games, scratch games, or electronic games so the so called poor people cannot burn all their cash on scratch tickets....

              maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

              United States
              Member #124621
              March 16, 2012
              1500 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 22, 2013, 7:05 pm - IP Logged

              I kinda hope it doesn't pass.  It's nice to know that minority opinions can still have a voice in different areas of the country.

                Avatar
                Texas
                United States
                Member #132460
                September 4, 2012
                483 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 5, 2013, 9:09 am - IP Logged

                I do hope they will pass the bill. It's more convenient for the players instead of driving to other state to play lottery. However I wonder why they would not allow the sale of instant tickets, scratch-off tickets or electronic games?