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Court may shut down Mega Millions in California

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Court may shut down Mega Millions in California

California Democrats may yet 'reap what they sow', as they started the effort to shut down Mega Millions soon after it started.

Mega Millions, the multistate lotto game California joined in June, could be shut down Friday if the Schwarzenegger administration loses its battle to keep the game running.

The state-run lottery and an anti-gambling group are set to argue in Sacramento court whether to halt the game as a judge weighs claims by the group and Democratic legislators that voters permitted a lottery only within California.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who backed joining Mega Millions to ease the state deficit, says he isn't worried about the court challenge.

His acting lottery director, Melissa Meith, said the agency "is not relinquishing any operational control."

But Woodland Hills attorney Nick Roxborough, who represents Californians Against Gambling Expansion, said the lottery is "out of control" and "believes it is answerable to no one."

"It's time Californians and their representatives reassert their control and put an end to the bureaucratic haughtinesswhich has been an insult to our democratic process," he said.

The lottery, which gives education a third of its sales revenue, launched Mega Millions with permission of the policy-setting Lottery Commission, appointed by Schwarzenegger.

CAGE filed suit, claiming the commission violated the Lottery Act, approved by voters as Proposition 37 in 1984, by not going to the Legislature or voters themselves for permission to join a multistate lottery.

Amid the controversy, Sen. Dean Florez, a Bakersfield Democrat whose committee oversees the lottery, appealed unsuccessfully for a delay in Mega Millions participation, then saw his bill to authorize the game but bar joining an international lottery blocked by Schwarzenegger.

Meanwhile, two key engineers of importing the game have disappeared from the lottery.

Former Acting Lottery Director Chon Gutierrez, who said proceeding with the game under a legal cloud was a calculated "gamble," retired abruptly.

Schwarzenegger's former special adviser to the lottery, Kim Smith, who admitted to impersonating a reporter to gain lawsuit information, has been shifted to an obscure job-training commission.

Policy-setting lottery commissioners who approved Mega Millions were grilled by legislators when seeking confirmation of their appointments by Schwarzenegger. The commissioners were confirmed after saying they were following what they believed to be sound advice.

The state Attorney General's Office informally advised the lottery to proceed, but a subsequent formal opinion by the Legislative Counsel's Office concluded that joining the game was illegal.

Both sides agree the Lottery Act determines the scope of authority granted to the state lottery.

"But in interpreting that language, respondents (lottery officials) ignore or superficially dismiss the intent of the California voters and Legislature, instead basing their arguments on out-of-state and nonbinding case law, which interpreted and applied substantively different statutory and constitutional language and requirements," according to the CAGE lawsuit.

"A careful review of each of the out-of-state cases discloses that the lottery commissions of those states were granted broad authority to enter into multistate lotteries," it says.

"Conversely, California's constitution and Lottery Act, provide a narrowly defined authority for a limited purpose — creation of a statewide lottery only," according to the suit.

Legal experts are divided over all the ramifications to states and players if Mega Millions was shut down in California because there is no precedent for such a move.

However, the citizens of California, the only ones without a voice in this process, have spoken loudly about their opinion in this matter.  They have been buying Mega Millions lottery tickets, and helping the game achieve record jackpot growth rates.

If the plaintiffs win the legal case against the Governor, they may yet lose when they face the voters.

The Argus

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31 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by Just6ntlc.
Page 1 of 3

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
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Posted: November 28, 2005, 9:45 am - IP Logged

I played Mega Millions in CA for the October 14 drawing. Don't let this happen!

    Avatar
    Northern California
    United States
    Member #19948
    August 9, 2005
    151 Posts
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    Posted: November 28, 2005, 11:04 am - IP Logged

    The lawsuit is without merit - having said that, this is CA and history has shown that anything that can go against the lottery just might go against the lottery.

     

    The game is operated under CA rules - not "Mega Millions" rules (e.g. all parimutuel prizes).

     

    The Lottery Act empowers the Commission to operate the Lottery.  They do not have to ask the Legislature for "permission" to do anything.  That a lawyer on the Legislatures payroll issued an opinion means nothing.

      bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

      United States
      Member #12618
      March 18, 2005
      2060 Posts
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      Posted: November 28, 2005, 12:47 pm - IP Logged

      A lot of people who play MM's in CA will be upset if this happens, although I think it will just get dropped or thrown out of court.

      Dance like no one is watching.

        Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
        Atlantic Mine, Michigan
        United States
        Member #416
        June 23, 2002
        1614 Posts
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        Posted: November 28, 2005, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

        I still don't understand these people.  Why would you fight a thing like this.  If you don't like it just don't buy tickets.  You don't have to punish everyone for your weird beliefs.  Mega Millions is a big money maker for their state lottery.  I doubt this lawsuit will do anything.

        When will these peopl learn they are not speaking for the people.  If it ever came to a ballot of course the voters would say yes anyway. 

        Brad


          United States
          Member #16612
          June 2, 2005
          3493 Posts
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          Posted: November 28, 2005, 1:15 pm - IP Logged

          It's OK for California to have pari-mutuel prizes for MM. However, I would be disappointed that CA would have to leave MM. Regardless if CA loses MM, I have their MM draw history in my document.


            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 28, 2005, 1:15 pm - IP Logged

            The lawsuit is without merit - having said that, this is CA and history has shown that anything that can go against the lottery just might go against the lottery.

             

            The game is operated under CA rules - not "Mega Millions" rules (e.g. all parimutuel prizes).

             

            The Lottery Act empowers the Commission to operate the Lottery.  They do not have to ask the Legislature for "permission" to do anything.  That a lawyer on the Legislatures payroll issued an opinion means nothing.

            I played MM under CA rules, and I didn't win. But I won $6 in Texas for the same drawing via the Megaplier.

              Avatar
              Bethesda, Maryland
              United States
              Member #16901
              June 6, 2005
              446 Posts
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              Posted: November 28, 2005, 1:17 pm - IP Logged

              A lot of people who play MM's in CA will be upset if this happens, although I think it will just get dropped or thrown out of court.

              11/28........

              I certainly hope it's over-ruled & thrown out of Court.....It doesn't make any sense. CALI players have been WINNING BIG.......these last couple of weeks.......What purpose would be served???

              Who is being hurt by this??????


                United States
                Member #379
                June 5, 2002
                11296 Posts
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                Posted: November 28, 2005, 1:49 pm - IP Logged

                A lot of people who play MM's in CA will be upset if this happens, although I think it will just get dropped or thrown out of court.

                11/28........

                I certainly hope it's over-ruled & thrown out of Court.....It doesn't make any sense. CALI players have been WINNING BIG.......these last couple of weeks.......What purpose would be served???

                Who is being hurt by this??????

                libra: Are you thinking if you win a jackpot, you would have to share with a CA winner?

                  Avatar
                  Portland
                  United States
                  Member #7262
                  September 27, 2004
                  111 Posts
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                  Posted: November 28, 2005, 10:53 pm - IP Logged

                  Hello! I don't understand why someone never forget about how to shut down MM in a state like CA ?
                  I bet a lot of Cali loto folks will be really disappointed about this thing! Please think about the feeling of them!!!


                  Cali's joining is a win-win situation for both MM(sale) and CA (funding to help the state)!!!


                  Good luck!!


                    United States
                    Member #379
                    June 5, 2002
                    11296 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: November 30, 2005, 9:35 am - IP Logged

                    CA had its second MM winner last night (sharing with a ticket in Michigan.) Don't let it be the last!!

                      Avatar
                      Bethesda, Maryland
                      United States
                      Member #16901
                      June 6, 2005
                      446 Posts
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                      Posted: November 30, 2005, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

                      HAPPY WEDNESDAY....11/30

                      Again, I must ask........why would CALIF.....fight over the M&M......when every 2 or 4 weeks they are winning the M&M....I just don't get it.......LOLOLOLOLOLOL

                      Maryland seldom has a winner, and we play everything we can get our hands on including the POWERBALL.....accross the street in the District of Columbia......CALIF   has great luck winning the M&M,  why are they fighting it so hard......I don't get it, not at all....LOLOLOLOL

                      Agree with stupid


                        United States
                        Member #379
                        June 5, 2002
                        11296 Posts
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                        Posted: November 30, 2005, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

                        Funny how in CA the Democrats are anti-lottery, while in the Bible Belt they're pro-lottery. I'm a Democrat who is pro-lottery but anti-NY-lottery.

                          Avatar
                          Bethesda, Maryland
                          United States
                          Member #16901
                          June 6, 2005
                          446 Posts
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                          Posted: November 30, 2005, 4:37 pm - IP Logged

                          Funny how in CA the Democrats are anti-lottery, while in the Bible Belt they're pro-lottery. I'm a Democrat who is pro-lottery but anti-NY-lottery.

                          Patriot

                          Hi CASH........I too am a "DEMO"......Montgomery County Maryland, which has a Repulsive Republican Gov, is staunchley "DEMO"....(please don't ask how we let that happen)....

                          However, the CALI DEMOS are hypocrites....with Lake Tahoe & the Casinos in N.CALI, not to mention the LAS VEGAS, NEVADA DESERT....just next door....it's tooooo rediculous.

                          CALI fought like hell to get the M&M....NOW, they have it....NOW, they Win it, and  The "DEMOS " FIGHT IT...LOLOLOLOLO.....

                            Avatar
                            Morrison, IL
                            United States
                            Member #4657
                            May 13, 2004
                            1884 Posts
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                            Posted: December 1, 2005, 12:44 am - IP Logged

                              Yeah, really, this is bull !!  Mega Millions should stay in California, especially since they're playing by California's rules (pari-mutuel prizes)!!