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Arkansas Lottery vending machines coming soon

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas Lottery vending machines coming soon

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Lottery Commission approved rules Thursday for use of 100 vending machines in retail outlets, though opponents vowed to continue to try to have the machines declared illegal.

Lottery players could find the machines in stores as soon as next month.

The commission conducted a public hearing before the vote and listened as 21 of 23 people spoke in opposition to the machines. The panel amended its rules to require government-issued identification in order to buy tickets from the machines and to ensure the machines are in sight of a store employee.

To buy from the machines, a customer will have to swipe an ID card through a card reader.

Arkansas Family Council director Jerry Cox complained that the commission was putting a flawed set of rules into play.

"The fight against the lottery vending machines is not over," Cox said.

The rules must be reviewed by the Legislative Lottery Oversight Committee, which meets Thursday. Cox said he would appeal to legislators to delay use of the machines until the full Legislature can consider the matter when it convenes in January.

Sen. David Johnson, co-chair of the oversight committee, said the role of the panel is simply to review the rules, take note of any areas of concern and listen to public comment.

"That's really the extent of our review. I have no doubt it will be concluded Thursday," Johnson said.

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue told commissioners that of the 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., that have lotteries, 33 use vending machines and three others are planning to do so. He said few have an age verification requirement.

Opponents expressed concern that the commission could deploy hundreds more of the machines, but Passailaigue said any new machines would have to be approved in a public budget hearing.

"There will never be additional machines without commission approval," he said.

The lottery raised $383 million last fiscal year for college scholarships, which the Higher Education Department is still working to award to students.

"We've made a difference in a lot of students' lives," said Commissioner Joe White of Conway.

Cox told the commission that the Legislature had given the commission too much responsibility.

"Delay this until January," Cox said. "Put some of this back on the Legislature."

Cox argued that the machines will make it easy for children to gamble, despite the ID requirement. He said the rules don't require store clerks to watch the machines while they are in use.

Passailaigue said the commission has had only a handful of complaints of underage gambling since the lottery was launched in September.

Commissioners said they could further amend the rules if necessary.

Cox also took issue with a provision that allows for continuing play, in which people can receive credits for winning tickets and keep playing, making them even more attractive to compulsive gamblers.

Many members of the public who addressed the panel spoke of their opposition to the lottery itself, which was approved by voters in 2008.

Tara Bond of Sherwood, likened lottery vending machines to cigarette vending machines. She said she started smoking at age 13 and remained hooked for nine years. She said she'd walk to a motel near her house and use her allowance to buy from a cigarette machine in a breezeway, never raising an objection from employees. She said cigarette machines should have been illegal then.

"The government enabled my addiction," she said. "You would be doing the same. I don't think you guys realize how easy it is to get a fake ID."

A number of people complained that the commission did not engage the public enough as it purchased the machines and planned to deploy them without first holding a public hearing. The hearing was set after opponents called for one.

"When I heard these machines were already purchased, that seemed a little shady," Dani Martin said.

News story photo(Click to display in gallery)


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5 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by Delta Draw.
Page 1 of 1
rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Posted: August 20, 2010, 12:28 pm - IP Logged

I love these do-gooders. Some people just can't seem to mind their own business. Busy-bodies. Always searching for something to complain about.

I like the broad in the article who complains about nobody stopping her from smoking as a teen. I guess she had nothing to do with it. She was a victim. Unbelievable.

Reminds me of an article I read recently. Some 19 year old volunteer fireman is suing the fire dept., the chief, the town and I don't know who else for 35 million dollars because they didn't stop him from drinking beer at a party and didn't stop him from driving when he left and he caused an accident.

Where the hell do these people come from with this lunacy?

And how do you get away from em?

And what makes these do-gooders want to stick their noses in everything they encounter?

Don't they realize we have enough to contend with from the government alone?

I wish some news outfit would start investigating the Arkansas Family Council and it's Director, Jerry Cox and see if everything they do meets with the approval of everybody else. These self appointed morality police frequently turn out to be a little less upstanding than they demand everybody else to be.







"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke



    Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
    Little Rock, AR
    United States
    Member #68365
    December 19, 2008
    242 Posts
    Posted: August 20, 2010, 1:55 pm - IP Logged

    Can't wait. The store down the street from me said they are supposed to be gettingn one.

      San Diego, CA
      United States
      Member #58386
      February 12, 2008
      291 Posts
      Posted: August 22, 2010, 12:20 pm - IP Logged

      We have had them forever in California.


      No ID required.

        Hermanus104's avatar - 5027340606 1e360c8038_s.jpg
        Northern Virginia
        United States
        Member #83350
        December 5, 2009
        1342 Posts
        Posted: August 23, 2010, 5:04 pm - IP Logged

        Underage playing is going to be a problem no matter what. Parents can buy and claim lotto tickets for their children. If the parent isn't able to do that, then you just require an ID to claim the prize, and if the person is under 18, you just don't give them the prize (with the payment for the tickets as a fine).

        Today's winning 3-ball is going to be a number between 000 and 999.

        In a lot of states, lotteries benefit education. That makes the REAL winners the only people who can't play!

          United States
          Member #81843
          October 31, 2009
          856 Posts
          Posted: August 24, 2010, 11:17 am - IP Logged

          I don’t get what the problem is about the vending machines. In Oregon and Washington there are $.25 gumball machines for the kiddies to get a chance at winning a buck in a small plastic ball. Most the time they get a gumball. The best part is that the proceeds are advertised as going to some county’s meth program but the contact info is a bad number. Talk about do-gooders! The states look the other way and allow it to happen.

          Start ‘m early, start’m young!