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Opinion: CA legislators should keep public in the loop about lottery

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Opinion: CA legislators should keep public in the loop about lottery

Editorial
Oakland Tribune

So, what do we do about the California Lottery? For the past four or so years, the lottery has been static, bringing in about $2 billion a year.

The state Lottery Commission believes that joining Mega Millions, which generated a record jackpot of $363 million in 2002, will provide an economic boost for the state by luring more people into playing the lottery, generating more revenue, 34 percent of which goes to state schools.

But state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Bakersfield, chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, questions whether the commission has the authority to decide to join Mega Millions later this year. He has asked the Legislature's attorney for an opinion on the matter.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's lottery troubleshooter Chon Gutierrez, a former lottery director, believes that his commission clearly has the authority to make the decision to join Mega Millions and is moving ahead.

Florez argues that lottery sales have gone down in some states after joining Mega Millions. It's also expected that the bigger Mega Millions jackpots will take money away from SuperLotto, even though the odds of winning are better in the state game.

Joining Mega Millions is a bigger decision than jiggering the existing state lottery or changing existing games to make them more attractive to consumers.

It has become obvious that something has to be done to reinvigorate the state lottery.
The California Lottery was approved by voters in 1984 to generate extra money for public education.

Lottery officials believe that the only way to jump-start interest is to join Mega Millions. Despite the larger jackpots that come from joining with other state lotteries, the odds of winning go down. Not that your odds are that good at 1 in 41 million under California's SuperLotto Plus. With Mega  Millions the odds are a staggering 1 in 135 million.

The legislative counsel has agreed to render an opinion, but wants to keep it confidential. Bad idea. Whatever the counsel decides should be made public, so we can all understand what it says and what recommendations it makes.

As an elected official, Florez should push for transparency here. He should release the counsel's recommendation not keep it secret.

Should the decision to join the high-stakes Mega Millions be made by the state Legislature or California Lottery Commission? Whichever way it is decided, the public must be in the loop.

Oakland Tribune

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4 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 1
dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

United States
Member #2338
September 17, 2003
2063 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 8, 2005, 12:50 am - IP Logged

He only cares about himself like most politicians. It's why politicians are rated down with lawyers and roaches. He doen't care about the people just in whom ever can give him the money for his next election bid. If he cared then it would be public with public opinion added. The only thing transparent about Florez is his motives namely publicity.

    LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
    Tennessee
    United States
    Member #7853
    October 15, 2004
    11338 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 12, 2005, 3:04 am - IP Logged

    politicians need to butt out.....


      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 15, 2005, 9:44 am - IP Logged

      The NY Lottery should hold public forums.

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11338 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 22, 2005, 4:24 pm - IP Logged

        the politicians don't care they'll do what they want to do regardless....