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Wyoming lottery bill barely nixed

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Wyoming lottery bill barely nixed

On a split vote, the Wyoming House narrowly defeated legislation allowing residents to play the Powerball lottery.

The vote was 29-29, two votes shy of passage, with two representatives excused.

"Nothing in this bill talks about the addiction," said Rep. Rodney "Pete" Anderson, R-Pine Bluffs, who led the opposition.

"It preys upon those who are on the fringe. ... Instead of buying things the family needs, they're buying lottery tickets. They're buying a lot of false hope."

He also argued that state government should not be trying to lure people to play games of chance.

"What business does the state have in promoting gambling?" Anderson said.

The bill would have allowed Wyoming to join 27 states that now offer Powerball, including five of Wyoming's six surrounding states. Fifteen other states sponsor non-Powerball lotteries.

Oversight of Wyoming's lottery would have come from the Pari-Mutuel Commission, with proceeds going to early childhood development, senior services and state parks and historic sites.

Last year, the House passed a lottery bill 32-24, but the measure was killed in the Senate. Before that, the legislation had never been passed by either chamber.

Rep. Stephen Watt, R-Rock Springs, said politicians love lotteries because they feed an appetite for revenue without tax hikes. Lottery dollars don't augment government services but simply are substituted for other income, he said, and they foster a get-rich-quick mentality.

Proponents argued that a Wyoming lottery would keep money from leaving the state.

"Bottom line, there's a lot of people in this state who want to play lottery," Rep. Wayne Reese, D-Cheyenne, said. "Why not let them have the choice whether to buy those tickets in Wyoming? This is about choice. If you don't want to play, you don't have to."

Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, agreed.

"The premise against this bill is we must somehow save people from themselves," he said. "It's not my job to legislate morality to people. ... It's not our duty as legislators to regulate the free will of our constituents."

But issues of revenue, choice and morality pale in comparison to the harm that lottery can cause, said Rep. Jerry Iekel, R-Sheridan.

"There is a socioeconomic impact of gambling," he said.

The two representatives who were excused from debate were Pete Jorgensen, D-Jackson, and Burke Jackson, R-Rozet.

Billings Gazette

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3 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by MillionsWanted.
Page 1 of 1
MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

Norway
Member #9517
December 10, 2004
1271 Posts
Online
Posted: February 9, 2005, 9:50 am - IP Logged

Once again those liberal bastards(republicans!) is against a lottery.

Remove them from office!



</sarcasm ends\

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
    23259 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 9, 2005, 9:54 am - IP Logged

    What are you talking about?  Did you read the article to the end?



    Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, agreed.

    "The premise against this bill is we must somehow save people from themselves," he said. "It's not my job to legislate morality to people. ... It's not our duty as legislators to regulate the free will of our constituents."


    This is not a Democrat/Republican issue, it's about people's guiding principles.  Some people are very serious about their opposition to gambling - in both the Democrat and Republican parties.  Although I personally disagree with that, I understand that they have a strong personal belief system.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

      Norway
      Member #9517
      December 10, 2004
      1271 Posts
      Online
      Posted: February 9, 2005, 10:08 am - IP Logged

      It was a reference to a post by reddog in this thread coming with those standard complaints about liberals, and my post in the same thread.