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CA Lottery spars with legislator over Mega Millions legality

Mega MillionsMega Millions: CA Lottery spars with legislator over Mega Millions legality

California lottery officials told a Senate committee Tuesday that they had the power to join the multistate Mega Millions lotto game even though the authorization wasn't spelled out in the 1984 initiative that set up the lottery.

The Legislature's attorneys disagreed, and a key lawmaker said he would introduce legislation that would allow California to participate in Mega Millions but require the other 11 states to pay the bulk of administrative costs.

Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, said the legislation would also bar the California Lottery Commission from joining an international lottery in the future, a step he said would raise questions about the integrity of the games.

"I think they are on very shaky legal ground," said Florez, the chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.

The commission voted in February to join Mega Millions, predicting the potentially huge jackpots produced by the participation of a dozen states would boost ticket sales and raise more money for schools.

Tickets for Friday's drawing, the first involving California, were scheduled to go on sale Wednesday.

The attorney general's office said the commission's decision was legal, but the legislative counsel said the move would violate a requirement in the 1984 act that the state run lottery games played in California.

Mega Millions would be overseen by a board of representatives from the 12 participating states, with each state having one vote.

"You can't have lottery games run by someone else" unless lawmakers approve legislation authorizing that change, said Mike Kelly, a principal deputy legislative counsel.

Melissa Meith, the lottery's chief attorney, acknowledged that the lottery act didn't specifically give the commission the power to join a multistate game but that the February decision was "consistent with every parameter we operate under."

"Is there a line somewhere that says we can do this? There is not. There also is no line that says we cannot," she said. "We are operating under the parameters set out under the act."

The lottery's acting director, Chon Gutierrez, said the state would go ahead with Mega Millions sales despite the questions raised by the legislative counsel's opinion.

But Florez said California's role in Mega Millions could become tied up in court if gambling opponents or other groups file a lawsuit challenging the commission's power to join the game.

Lottery officials in 10 of the 11 other states avoided the possibility of legal problems by getting legislation authorizing them to join a multistate game, a step the California commission could have taken, he said.

"They've put the entire lottery under a legal black cloud that didn't need to be there in the first place," he added.

AP

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8 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
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Avatar
New Mexico
United States
Member #12305
March 10, 2005
2984 Posts
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Posted: June 22, 2005, 8:00 pm - IP Logged

The Legislature's attorneys disagreed, and a key lawmaker said he would introduce legislation that would allow California to participate in Mega Millions but require the other 11 states to pay the bulk of administrative costs.

 

I'll bet the other 11 will be tickled pea green with that one.

Jack

    jeffrey's avatar - moon
    Hamilton, OH
    United States
    Member #4162
    March 27, 2004
    277 Posts
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    Posted: June 22, 2005, 8:52 pm - IP Logged

    The Legislature's attorneys disagreed, and a key lawmaker said he would introduce legislation that would allow California to participate in Mega Millions but require the other 11 states to pay the bulk of administrative costs.

    Won't happen. What is the color of the sky in that guy's world?
      Avatar
      New Mexico
      United States
      Member #12305
      March 10, 2005
      2984 Posts
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      Posted: June 22, 2005, 9:04 pm - IP Logged

      If he's a key legislator, his sky is the color of brass.... same as a lock.

      It ought to be a good way to resolve the whole issue if they try it.... either MM becomes a single state, California, or California doesn't become an MM state.  I'm betting those other 11 would fall like ripe apples into the PB apron.

      Jack

        dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

        United States
        Member #2338
        September 17, 2003
        2063 Posts
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        Posted: June 22, 2005, 11:04 pm - IP Logged

        PB would have to change radically and NY is too big a state to loose. Mega dominates the East coast. Dean Florez is just a worthless moron. Personally I hope that the jackpot gets big then sales stop in CA from an injunction from this moron. Bet he would be real popular with his constituents then. Not to mention that without CA the game could get really huge. I'm just wondering if the CA voters would wake up though when someone else wins a record amount in a game they were told they could play in but thanks top that moron now can only watch someone else holding the big check.

          mrmst's avatar - disney14
          Glen Burnie, MD
          United States
          Member #427
          June 27, 2002
          208 Posts
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          Posted: June 23, 2005, 9:16 am - IP Logged

          Supppse a California player wins the jackpot and someone from one of the other states sues claiming the CA player was playing illegally?

          MrMST

          Good luck and have a Disney Day ºoºHiding Behind Computer

            empassioned1's avatar - abns7
            Saint Louis, Missouri
            United States
            Member #17000
            June 9, 2005
            46 Posts
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            Posted: June 23, 2005, 10:43 pm - IP Logged

            If CA wants in, they anti up on their own.  I mean, come on! Thats like say, "we'll play Mega Millions, but they're gonna have to pay for us to win"...If the other 11 even fall in line for this (hey strange stupid idiotic things actually happen in this world), look for things to get even bigger and more stupid as the year passes.

             

            C.K.

            If the eyes are the windows to the soul, let me see you without the shades drawn

             

            What's a Hades Bunny?  Well let's just say you don't wanna be jumpin' over MY back fence.  But hey, you ain't afraid a lil white rabbit now are ya?


              United States
              Member #16612
              June 2, 2005
              3493 Posts
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              Posted: June 29, 2005, 4:21 pm - IP Logged

              I wiahed that the jackpot of Mega Millios gets big and then sales suddenly stop in CA from an injunction from this moron. Bet he would be real popular with his constituents then. Not to mention that without CA the game could get really huge.

                LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                Tennessee
                United States
                Member #7853
                October 15, 2004
                11338 Posts
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                Posted: July 28, 2005, 3:24 am - IP Logged

                Supppse a California player wins the jackpot and someone from one of the other states sues claiming the CA player was playing illegally?

                it could happen.....