Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 7, 2016, 3:37 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Arkansas lottery bill nearly ready for review

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas lottery bill nearly ready for review

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — When lawmakers finally get their hands on the bill to create the Arkansas lottery, they may want to find a comfortable chair — they'll be reading for a while.

"When it's filed, you will understand why it's taken so long," House Speaker Robbie Wills said in an interview in his office. "It's going to be over 100 pages."

Wills filed a shell lottery bill in the House before the session started, after voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to create a state lottery to fund college scholarships in the November general election.

Sen. Terry Smith, D-Hot Springs, filed a matching bill in the Senate. Neither version has been amended to add details. On Friday, Wills said he is still weeks away from filing the full legislation, but a draft could be in lawmakers' hands as soon as this week.

"There'll be details, because we'll be sharing this with members," he said.

Wills has been working with an informal group of House and Senate members on the lottery details, holding about two working meetings a day. The inner circle includes Reps. Bruce Maloch, D-Magnolia; Johnnie Roebuck, D-Arkadelphia; Bill Abernathy, D-Mena; Gregg Reep, D-Warren; and Sens. Steve Faris, D-Malvern; Mary Anne Salmon, D-North Little Rock; and Tracy Steele, D-North Little Rock, among others.

The portion of the legislation laying out the business model for the lottery is "set and ready to go," according to Wills. He said the bill would create a lottery commission with nine members, three of whom would be appointed by the governor, three by the House speaker and three by the Senate president pro tem.

The commission would select the director or CEO of the lottery and hire a vendor to operate the lottery. Wills said he has no one in mind for the director's job, but he is aware of three vendors operating in the U.S.: Intralot, based in Athens, Greece; GTECH, based in Greenwich, R.I.; and Scientific Games, based in New York.

"If there's others, they're certainly going to be welcome to respond to the RFP (request for proposals)," he said.

The commission would answer to a legislative oversight committee, Wills said. The bill also would create a retail advisory board to serve as a liaison with retail businesses that sell lottery tickets.

"The business model, I think we've got that right, because we're following the best practices that other lotteries have put in place that will allow us to be successful," Wills said.

As for the scholarships the lottery will fund, Wills said the bill would create a "starting point."

"The Georgia Hope Scholarship program of today is much different than the first year after the Georgia lottery was implemented," he said. "What we're trying to do is get the framework in place and let scholarship programs grow."

The first scholarships should become available in the fall of 2010.

"We don't want to create the expectation that next year we're going to have full scholarships for every single person who wants to go to college," Wills said. "We would all like to work towards that, but that's going to take a long period of time, and it's going to take the lottery being successful and people having confidence in the operation of the lottery."

Wills does not want to do away with the state's existing 21 scholarship programs.

"We're not wanting to scrap what we have in place. What we're wanting to do is streamline the application process so it's simpler for families and students, and add a 22nd scholarship that, again, it would probably start small but it could potentially be a major scholarship," he said.

The scholarship would be universally available, open to traditional and non-traditional students alike, Wills said. He would not say what grade point average would be required to get or maintain a scholarship, but he said Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's recommendation of 2.5 "sounds good."

Halter, who led the drive to place the lottery amendment on the November ballot, has estimated the lottery would collect $100 million a year for scholarships. The state Department of Finance has estimated the net proceeds would be $55 million.

"My gut feeling is it's going to be on the higher end of that scale because of some of the business decisions we're making with this, given the commission's flexibility — you know, allowing them to basically operate like a business," Wills said.

Lawmakers working with Wills on the bill said they had high hopes for the legislation.

"It's going great. We're coming to a consensus," Roebuck said. "I hope we'll be there shortly."

"I'm happy with what I'm seeing," Abernathy said. "I think the people will be happy when we get our draft done and it gets tweaked by the powers that be."

Arkansas News Bureau

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

9 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by chasingadream.
Page 1 of 1
konane's avatar - wallace
Atlanta, GA
United States
Member #1265
March 13, 2003
3333 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 2, 2009, 3:33 pm - IP Logged

Fingers crossed for LOTTOMIKE this will get off the ground soon!  Big Grin

Good luck to everyone!

    diamondpalace's avatar - Untitled 2.jpg
    Dallas, TX
    United States
    Member #60284
    April 12, 2008
    3856 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 2, 2009, 5:45 pm - IP Logged

    Good news.

      Bondi Junction
      Australia
      Member #57242
      December 24, 2007
      1102 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 3, 2009, 4:17 am - IP Logged

      I hope they will have a subscription service, if so, I will play. I already play the New York and Massachusetts lotteries by subscription. I have won a few small prizes, but still waiting for a big one.

        chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

        United States
        Member #38687
        May 3, 2006
        315 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 3, 2009, 9:44 pm - IP Logged

        I hope they will have a subscription service, if so, I will play. I already play the New York and Massachusetts lotteries by subscription. I have won a few small prizes, but still waiting for a big one.

        just curious .....how do you play the NY lottery by subscription? I also play the Massachusetts lottery but was unaware of any other stated that plays the same way as Mass.....

        I'm hoping that Arkansas goes with MegaMillions.

        When and if Mississippi gets a lottery, I think it would be great if they too went with MegaMillions.

        Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

          Bondi Junction
          Australia
          Member #57242
          December 24, 2007
          1102 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 3, 2009, 10:08 pm - IP Logged

          I play the New York lottery via my New York address, I am an American working in Australia. To subscribe to the New York lottery you need a New York State address, unlike the Massachusetts lottery which doesn't have residency restrictions.

            OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
            Gurnee, Illinois
            United States
            Member #49731
            February 12, 2007
            917 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 5, 2009, 9:58 am - IP Logged

            I hope they will have a subscription service, if so, I will play. I already play the New York and Massachusetts lotteries by subscription. I have won a few small prizes, but still waiting for a big one.

            Yeah, the subscription service is a great thing...the winner of Monday's Illinoiis Lotto drawing was a subscriber.  I subscribed a few times years ago, but my spouse doesn't believe in playing the lottery and happened to collect the mail when I received confirmation letters from the lottery.  Yeah, we had heated discussions, so now I just buy advanced draws at the store to keep my playing under wraps.  Likewise, since she doesn't believe in playing, when I do eventually win, she won't get any of the money directly...rather, she will be an indirect beneficiary as I will buy things from which she thinks the money is coming from a different source! Cool And there is no need for the pundits to weigh in on this...HE who is without SIN, let HIM cast the first stone!Rant

            Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

            The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

              OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
              Gurnee, Illinois
              United States
              Member #49731
              February 12, 2007
              917 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 5, 2009, 10:25 am - IP Logged

              just curious .....how do you play the NY lottery by subscription? I also play the Massachusetts lottery but was unaware of any other stated that plays the same way as Mass.....

              I'm hoping that Arkansas goes with MegaMillions.

              When and if Mississippi gets a lottery, I think it would be great if they too went with MegaMillions.

              I Agree! Then Megamillions can up the starting jackpot amount to $20M to match Powerball, but I would hope they would keep the higher percentage cash value to annuitized jackpot ratio as I am not sure if you noticed when both Powerball and Megamillions were at the same $30M annuitized jackpot level, the cash value for Mega Millions was about $3M more than Powerball's cash value.  That would make two states surrounding OK that sells the competing MegaMillions lottery which would aid Western Arkansas in also capturing some cross border sales with OK, MO, TN, LA, MS, and even KS (KS isn't a border state, but close enough where some folks likely would make the drive to buy MegaMillions when the jackpot gets high or for those die hard lottery players who will just want to keep a ticket for every drawing in another lottery game).

              MISSISSIPPI...get on board the lottery train...Arkansas is way ahead of you and Wyoming is jumping onboard.  That only leaves you in the company of neighboring Alabama and cross country states of Nevada (casino lobby is keeping lottery out) and Utah (religious groups...chiefly the Mormons...keeping lottery out) as the only remaining states that do not have a lottery (I don't see Alaska ever having a lottery nor Hawaii).

              Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

              The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

                United States
                Member #38687
                May 3, 2006
                315 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 6, 2009, 1:09 am - IP Logged

                Yeah, the subscription service is a great thing...the winner of Monday's Illinoiis Lotto drawing was a subscriber.  I subscribed a few times years ago, but my spouse doesn't believe in playing the lottery and happened to collect the mail when I received confirmation letters from the lottery.  Yeah, we had heated discussions, so now I just buy advanced draws at the store to keep my playing under wraps.  Likewise, since she doesn't believe in playing, when I do eventually win, she won't get any of the money directly...rather, she will be an indirect beneficiary as I will buy things from which she thinks the money is coming from a different source! Cool And there is no need for the pundits to weigh in on this...HE who is without SIN, let HIM cast the first stone!Rant

                I have to say that I actually agree with you on this post. What I find so funny is that when you are playing and playing and playing people are so quick to make fun you and tell you are waisting your money but as soooooon as you hit a large amount of money.......that very same person is the 1st person that is requesting a handout. Even though she is your wife i still agree with you. I had to start doin the same thing with my girlfriend.

                I noticed that she always had a joke to tell when I would say that I needed to drive to Georgia for my MegaMillions tickets.......but the very 1st time that I hit for $150 she became suddenly interested in when I was going to get more tickets and I noticed that her vocabulary started to change as well......everything went from when you "think" your gonna win .........to when "we" win. Every since then I decided to keep it to myself when I hit the big one. I know there are alot of you out there that are thinking that she will know once she sees the nice cars and the nice house. That's where you are wrong. I feel that if I have that much money there is no need for me to have to indulge in such ridiculous spending. The most I would do is move into a nice apartment and get the dent repaired in my 97 astrovan........then if she can continue to stay with me until I graduate then i would possibly consider telling her.......and right now her chances are extremely slim that i would tell her.

                Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

                  chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #38687
                  May 3, 2006
                  315 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 6, 2009, 1:15 am - IP Logged

                  I Agree! Then Megamillions can up the starting jackpot amount to $20M to match Powerball, but I would hope they would keep the higher percentage cash value to annuitized jackpot ratio as I am not sure if you noticed when both Powerball and Megamillions were at the same $30M annuitized jackpot level, the cash value for Mega Millions was about $3M more than Powerball's cash value.  That would make two states surrounding OK that sells the competing MegaMillions lottery which would aid Western Arkansas in also capturing some cross border sales with OK, MO, TN, LA, MS, and even KS (KS isn't a border state, but close enough where some folks likely would make the drive to buy MegaMillions when the jackpot gets high or for those die hard lottery players who will just want to keep a ticket for every drawing in another lottery game).

                  MISSISSIPPI...get on board the lottery train...Arkansas is way ahead of you and Wyoming is jumping onboard.  That only leaves you in the company of neighboring Alabama and cross country states of Nevada (casino lobby is keeping lottery out) and Utah (religious groups...chiefly the Mormons...keeping lottery out) as the only remaining states that do not have a lottery (I don't see Alaska ever having a lottery nor Hawaii).

                  i agree with you but I think that there should at least be one or two states that don't have a lottery. The reason I say this is because the winners need some place to go where there is no lottery so they can have the ability to live comfortably without people saying "hey isn't that John Doe that won $100million at the store down the street. I think the 2 states that should stay lottery-less are Utah and Nevada.

                  To be honest with you I think Alabama will go with Powerball when and if they do decide to join a multistate lottery. I really hope Mega gets Mississippi. There are so many cities that would travel for a ticket. New Orleans and Memphis alone would give an extreme influx of border sales. I hope someone at the Mega HQ is reading this.....lol

                  HEEEEEY people at Mega ......... start making some calls to Arkansas and Mississippi

                  Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot