While lawmakers in the state of Florida debate how to expand casino gambling, the Florida Lottery has expansion plans of their own. This past week, the Lottery published the details of what type of new options they are looking to offer.
Last year, the Lottery added 1,000 vending machines that sold their scratch off tickets. Now, the agency would like to add more of these machines. That would require legislative approval, and there could be resistance to new outlets.
The Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability has given their opinion and they do not want more games added. The concern is that with more games, more gambling addiction will come. The real reason, however, could be the Seminole Indians.
Some lawmakers believe that a deal with the Seminoles should be completed before other gambling avenues are explored. Two gambling compacts with the Seminoles have already been turned away by legislators. Now, the lawmakers are looking into expansion for the pari-mutuel facilities in the state.
In addition to the vending machines, Florida also added the Powerball Lottery game last year. Powerball is a game that is played by residents of many different states. Mega Millions is another multi-state game that is being considered for Florida.
The upside to the Lottery adding more options is increased revenue for the state's education system. Governor Charlie Crist recently proposed a new budget that calls for an increase in funding from the state.