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Powerball renews interest in Mississippi state lottery

MississippiMississippi: Powerball renews interest in Mississippi state lottery
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JACKSON, Miss. — By all accounts, Mississippians by droves participated in the $1.6 billion Powerball lottery that was awarded this past week, but the state of Mississippi did not participate.

Mississippi is one of six states that does not conduct a lottery. The others are Alabama, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Alaska.

But, according to many people, the fact the state does not have a lottery does not mean Mississippians were not vying for the record jackpot.

Supporters of the lottery say the state of Mississippi just was not reaping any of the benefits of the Powerball lottery frenzy.

"I live in a river town," said Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Natchez. "The amount of people crossing the river to purchase lottery tickets would have produced enough revenue to have made a difference for public education funding.

"And I am just talking about Natchez. That is all along the (Mississippi) River."

Rep. Preston Sullivan, D-Okolona, said, "A lot of money is leaving Mississippi going to other places."

The attention created by the record Powerball payout has created new interest in the Mississippi Legislature for a state lottery.

Gulf Coast senators gave all of their colleagues a Powerball ticket in an effort to build good will toward the lottery. And there is talk of a concerted effort to try to pass legislation creating a lottery.

But, in reality, it is not likely that such legislation will get far.

"Right now, Mississippi requires gambling institutions to provide real economic impact," said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who presides over the Senate. "A casino can provide hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars of investment through hotels, restaurants and shops. A lottery doesn't provide those benefits. I believe that is why the Legislature has not embraced lotteries."

And Gov. Phil Bryant did not mince any words.

"I am not for it," he said.

Bryant and others contend the lottery does not generate new revenue. Instead people just redirect their spending to a lottery from other activities, which already are taxed by the state. Plus many believe people who can least afford it purchase the bulk of the lottery tickets.

But supporters of the lottery contend it could generate much-needed revenue for a cash-strapped state education system.

But Bryant said, "I think it sends the wrong signal to schoolchildren to say education funding is dependent on a game of chance."

Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, who often is at odds with Reeves and Bryant, agrees with them on the lottery. He said the revenue produced by a lottery will be insignificant when compared to the negative impact on the state of a lottery. He said the tax cuts being considered this year would take much more money out of the general fund than a lottery would produce.

Through the years, much of the opposition to the lottery has come from Northeast Mississippians, such as Bryan.

In 1992, thanks in large part to the advocacy of former Gov. Ray Mabus, the Legislature placed on the ballot an amendment to remove the lottery ban that was in the Mississippi Constitution.

The proposal to lift the ban passed 481,848 to 427,335. But the only counties in Northeast Mississippi to vote in favor of lifting the ban were Clay, Oktibbeha and Marshall and all did so by narrow margins.

The other 13 Northeast Mississippi counties voted to keep the ban in place – in some counties by large margins, For instance, Lee voted for the ban by a 11,868 to 7,200 margin. And in some Northeast counties, such as Pontotoc, Prentiss and Union, residents voted to keep the ban by nearly a two-to-one margin.

After the ban was lifted by the statewide referendum, legislative efforts to put a lottery in place were unsuccessful. Northeast Mississippi legislators were some of the most vocal opponents of the lottery in the 1990s after the ban was lifted.

Most Northeast Mississippi legislators today seem to remain lukewarm to the lottery.

"I would consider the lottery if the money was going to be earmarked specifically for kindergarten through 12 education and community colleges," said Sen. Chad McMahan, R-Guntown. "...That is the only way I would support it."

And even then, McMahan was not a certain vote.

"I am undecided," said Sen. Bill Stone, D-Holly Springs. "I see the line of cars cross into Tennessee to buy tickets. But I don't know."

Sen. Russell Jolly, D-Houston, also said he was not sure before finally saying, "I am going to go by what the people in my district want."

Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford, though, said "I am an unapologetic supporter of the lottery. I see it as a wonderful opportunity to carve out funding for public education."

Rep. Margaret Ellis Rogers, R-New Albany, questioned whether a lottery would just divert funds away from the state's casino gambling industry.

Indeed, it is often said that the Baptists and the gambling industry have joined forces to block the industry.

Whomever the opponents are, thus far they have been successful.

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19 comments. Last comment 10 months ago by Bleudog101.
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mightwin's avatar - questns

United States
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January 5, 2011
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Posted: January 18, 2016, 9:51 am - IP Logged

Was it Idaho that started a lottery acouple years ago? Anybody know how their doing with it........

    zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
    South Carolina
    United States
    Member #77167
    July 15, 2009
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    Posted: January 18, 2016, 10:26 am - IP Logged

    Ms. has casinos--why not the lottery?  It costs less to play the lottery than to gamble at a casino.  So in Ms. only certain income levels are allowed to gamble.  A bunch of hypocrites in the state legislature.

    Mississippi has 30 state-regulated casinos along the Mississippi River and on the Gulf Coast. In addition, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians own and operate three Class III Indian casinos and a plan a fourth casino in Jones County.

    Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

    “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
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      May 31, 2000
      23259 Posts
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      Posted: January 18, 2016, 10:42 am - IP Logged

      There are some really nice casinos on the gulf coast, in the Biloxi/Gulfport area. I spent a good amount of time playing up and down the strip there a few years back. At the time they had some really good house rules for craps and blackjack.

      And those casinos (and others in the state) are probably some of the biggest opponents of a legalized lottery in the state.  Just like in Nevada, the casinos are threatened by alternative forms of gambling.

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        RedStang's avatar - tallman zps6gf4inoc.jpg
        NY
        United States
        Member #121961
        January 21, 2012
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        Posted: January 18, 2016, 10:56 am - IP Logged

        "I see the line of cars cross into Tennessee to buy tickets. But I don't know."

        It's easy. Just count the cars and times it by an average of $20 each. That should help your decision.

          music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
          Happy California
          United States
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          August 2, 2014
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          Posted: January 18, 2016, 11:06 am - IP Logged

          Representative forms of government are not perfect but for the most part, the people are heard.

          As former Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill said, "Democracy is a lousy way to govern until you consider the alternatives."

           Have you ever spelled Mississippi,"Mrs.Sippi"?

           I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

           Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
            Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
            United States
            Member #112968
            June 29, 2011
            3854 Posts
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            Posted: January 18, 2016, 11:20 am - IP Logged

            There are some really nice casinos on the gulf coast, in the Biloxi/Gulfport area. I spent a good amount of time playing up and down the strip there a few years back. At the time they had some really good house rules for craps and blackjack.

            And those casinos (and others in the state) are probably some of the biggest opponents of a legalized lottery in the state.  Just like in Nevada, the casinos are threatened by alternative forms of gambling.

            Nevada is often called the Mississippi of the west,

            now we can call Mississippi the Nevada of the south.

            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

              HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
              Idaho
              United States
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              July 17, 2010
              2284 Posts
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              Posted: January 18, 2016, 11:49 am - IP Logged

              Was it Idaho that started a lottery acouple years ago? Anybody know how their doing with it........

              Idaho has had a lottery since the late 80's.  Dunno which state just recently got one.

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                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
                Member #30470
                January 17, 2006
                10344 Posts
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                Posted: January 18, 2016, 12:13 pm - IP Logged

                There are some really nice casinos on the gulf coast, in the Biloxi/Gulfport area. I spent a good amount of time playing up and down the strip there a few years back. At the time they had some really good house rules for craps and blackjack.

                And those casinos (and others in the state) are probably some of the biggest opponents of a legalized lottery in the state.  Just like in Nevada, the casinos are threatened by alternative forms of gambling.

                Todd,

                How true.

                The Indian Gaming Act of 1987 is what led to the gambling expansion, at first Indian casinos and then river boats (Class III gambling).

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Gaming_Regulatory_Act

                When the river boat were picking out locations there was a lot of opposition. A lot of it was from Catholic churches that didn't want competition for their bingo games.

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                Lep

                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

                  United States
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                  November 4, 2011
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                  Posted: January 18, 2016, 12:30 pm - IP Logged

                  Was it Idaho that started a lottery acouple years ago? Anybody know how their doing with it........

                  I think it is Wyoming you are speaking of and I believe it began in 2013.   Utah citizens are buying in Wyoming so it is affecting Idaho sales.  Other than that not sure how they are doing.

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                    Simpsonville
                    United States
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                    January 22, 2015
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                    Posted: January 18, 2016, 1:15 pm - IP Logged

                    Idaho has had a lottery since the late 80's.  Dunno which state just recently got one.

                    Wyoming is the latest state to get a lottery.

                      Lynn-Lynn's avatar - yocco
                      Kansas city Mo
                      United States
                      Member #133405
                      September 29, 2012
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                      Posted: January 18, 2016, 3:03 pm - IP Logged

                      Some states have both. You got your people who like the lottery then you got your boat people. And some like both. Why not let the people decide. Most states all monies got to education.

                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                        Oklahoma
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                        November 12, 2009
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                        Posted: January 18, 2016, 5:04 pm - IP Logged

                        Was it Idaho that started a lottery acouple years ago? Anybody know how their doing with it........

                        I believe it was Wyoming.

                        I Love Pink & Green 1908

                          alsmurf4's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
                          New Member
                          mississippi
                          United States
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                          August 20, 2014
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                          Posted: January 18, 2016, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

                          I don't see where lotteries would redirect/divert any more money from other activities than casinos do. However, the lottery wouldnot contribute to politicians campaigns, that may be the sticking point for some of our legislators.

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                            United States
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                            February 6, 2012
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                            Posted: January 19, 2016, 12:48 am - IP Logged

                            There are some really nice casinos on the gulf coast, in the Biloxi/Gulfport area. I spent a good amount of time playing up and down the strip there a few years back. At the time they had some really good house rules for craps and blackjack.

                            And those casinos (and others in the state) are probably some of the biggest opponents of a legalized lottery in the state.  Just like in Nevada, the casinos are threatened by alternative forms of gambling.

                            It is beautiful down there, I have gone several times with my father. We have always stayed at Palace Casino Resort but he is down there right now on vacation and is at Harrah's and seems to like it so far. It is really nice and peaceful down there, like its own little world.