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While N.C. lottery bill sits, backers and critics wait

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: While N.C. lottery bill sits, backers and critics wait

Last week, Matt Jameson fumed after reading about the North Carolina General Assembly balking at passing a state lottery.

"One vote short? What kind of nonsense is that? They could pass a lottery if they want to; this is nothing but politics," he said.

This week Jameson has resolve to vote against any lawmaker who fails to support a lottery. Jameson plays the lottery in Virginia periodically and said he'd rather spend his money in North Carolina than out-of-state.

"It's ridiculous. Every poll I've seen about the lottery suggests the people want one," he said.

North Carolinians will have to wait at least a week before they find out if the legislature will approve a state game, though. Lawmakers have taken this week off while some of their fellows have traveled to Seattle for a legislative conference.

Before the week off, Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight, D-Dare, said he was one vote shy of being able to pass a lottery bill in the Senate. All 21 Senate Republicans and five Democrats oppose the lottery, giving the opponents a 26-24 advantage in the 50-seat chamber. One changed vote could lead to passage of the lottery by allowing Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, as Senate president, to break a tie.

Sen. A.B. Swindell, a Nashville Democrat, said he didn't know how the vote for a lottery would turn out.

Swindell said the numbers from every lottery poll he has seen indicate that about 75 percent of North Carolinians are in favor of a lottery or in favor of being allowed to vote for one in a referendum. He said most of his constituents have expressed support for a state game.

A lottery has been one of the top priorities for Gov. Mike Easley. Easley and state officials anticipate the lottery to generate $400 million annually for school construction and scholarship programs.

North Carolina is the only state on the East Coast that does not have a lottery.

And some folks feel it should remain that way.

The Rev. M.K. Smith of Christ Temple of Praise said he's opposed to the lottery. Smith said gambling has historically been a crutch for people living paycheck to paycheck.

"The government should not be in the business of promoting gambling," Smith said.

Although Smith said he has not taken public action regarding the lottery bill, he said he has spoken to lottery opponents and proponents about his opposition.

"I do understand the intent behind it; I understand the need to finance the schools, but I believe there are other ways we ought to explore raising money for our schools other than gambling," Smith said.

The Rev. Mark Creech of Kenly, director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, has been lobbying against the lottery for years. On his Web site, Creech said the lottery is still a "threat" during this legislative session.

"It ain't over just yet," Creech said. "If someone changes his or her mind during the course of next week, we can be sure the Senate leadership will call for a vote on the lottery as soon as they come back. The lottery is still a threat for this session."

Wilson Daily Times

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4 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by wizeguy.
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lottolady24's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg
New Member
West Palm Beach, Florida
United States
Member #14811
May 3, 2005
17 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 18, 2005, 3:31 pm - IP Logged

I was researching into whether they had voted over the weekend or not when I came upon lottery opposers defending their stance.  They were complaining that NC Residents will spend somewhere around $8 billion on lottery tickets to only bring $400 million in to the state and education programs. 

My question is: Would you rather have NC residents spending their $8 billion in NC or in VA and other surrounding lottery states? Wake up NC Senate! They're gonna spend it anyway. 

ps. The purpose of the Senate is service and representation of the people of NC.  Give them what they want instead of protecting your own political agendas. 

    Avatar
    New Member
    Kinston, North carolina
    United States
    Member #12204
    March 7, 2005
    7 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: August 18, 2005, 11:19 pm - IP Logged

    i live in nc, i am for the lottery,but until  i see the first printed ticket ,thats when i believe we will get one.

     

                      No Pity!

      dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

      United States
      Member #2338
      September 17, 2003
      2063 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: August 18, 2005, 11:23 pm - IP Logged

      I was researching into whether they had voted over the weekend or not when I came upon lottery opposers defending their stance.  They were complaining that NC Residents will spend somewhere around $8 billion on lottery tickets to only bring $400 million in to the state and education programs. 

      My question is: Would you rather have NC residents spending their $8 billion in NC or in VA and other surrounding lottery states? Wake up NC Senate! They're gonna spend it anyway. 

      ps. The purpose of the Senate is service and representation of the people of NC.  Give them what they want instead of protecting your own political agendas. 

      I think you got it backwards on your ps. They are after their own political agends first.

        wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

        United States
        Member #15143
        May 10, 2005
        414 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 19, 2005, 2:26 pm - IP Logged

        A lot can happen in a weeks time. Don't blow it NC, you are too close.