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Former Anchorage mayor is pushing for an Alaska state lottery

AlaskaAlaska: Former Anchorage mayor is pushing for an Alaska state lottery
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JUNEAU, Alaska — Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is in Juneau, Alaska, this week hoping to hit the jackpot: He's trying to convince lawmakers to authorize a state lottery.

Sullivan, who finished his second three-year term as mayor last year, said in an interview that a lottery could take a small bite out of the state's $3.8 billion budget deficit. And he's talked with more than a dozen lawmakers this week about approving legislation to set up a state lottery corporation, which would allow Alaska to participate in multistate games like Powerball.

"Bless the lotteries — they're the only voluntary form of taxation, so it's not government forcibly extracting from your wallet," he said, noting that he was quoting the writings of Thomas Jefferson. "If you want to play, you do, and if you don't, you don't. Does it solve the budget crisis? Nope. Does it help? Yes."

Sullivan is acting as the volunteer director of the Alaska Lottery Coalition — a group that he said claims other members, though he wouldn't identify any of them.

Alaska is one of six states that doesn't participate in Powerball, which this month saw its jackpot hit $1.5 billion. There's no state lottery in Alaska now, though gambling games like bingo, pull-tabs and the Nenana Ice Classic are allowed. Bingo and pull-tabs operate under charitable gaming licenses.

In 2014, gaming operators reported about $340 million in gross receipts to the state, which collected $2.5 million in taxes. A paper produced by Gov. Bill Walker's administration last year said the state could potentially produce $15 million in revenue by creating a lottery.

The last proposal to do so was in 2003, from a Republican senator who wanted to use the proceeds for education, but his legislation never made it to the floor for a vote.

Sullivan said he was involved in an effort to create a lottery 28 years ago that passed the state House and made it through Senate committees before being held off the floor by leadership — "or we would have had a state lottery," he said.

One of the lawmakers who met with Sullivan this week, Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, said she has a fundamental problem with gambling.

"People work hard for their money, and I don't want to see it frittered away," she said in an interview. "It seems like folks that can least afford it participate."

On the other hand, she added: "Who am I to be telling someone they can't?"

Gattis said she would consider legislation authorizing a state lottery, and Sullivan, she added, would likely "get many of us to think about it in a different way." Before she'd approve it, though, she said: "I'd have to look at the data."

Sullivan maintained that lotteries target a different, more affluent market than pull-tabs.

Lotteries, he said, "base their income on a lot of people playing a little."

"It's disposable income," he said.

Currently, Sullivan said, there's no money being spent on his effort, and he hasn't registered as a lobbyist.

"It's just a labor of love," he said.

Backers of a lottery may also consider pushing for a citizens initiative if lawmakers don't get behind their idea, he said.

Beyond his lottery campaign, Sullivan said he's been getting to the gym every day. But he said he has no plans to seek public office anytime soon.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Alaska Dispatch

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26 comments. Last comment 10 months ago by rock_nc.
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rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
Texas
United States
Member #55889
October 23, 2007
5600 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 24, 2016, 8:59 am - IP Logged

Exactly what I was thinking Rep Gattis.

Who are you or anyone else in government to tell anyone how to spend their money?

CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

    Avatar
    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163189
    January 22, 2015
    674 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 24, 2016, 9:21 am - IP Logged

    Really tempted to throw Sara Palin into this, but will be nice.  Don't think this would fly due to the scarcity of the residents--too spread out IMHO.

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      Ringleader
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81740
      October 28, 2009
      40484 Posts
      Online
      Posted: January 24, 2016, 10:52 am - IP Logged

      I hope Alaska gets their Lottery.

      Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

      For a lead role in a cage?

       

                                                  From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

        MaximumMillions's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg

        Germany
        Member #164603
        March 8, 2015
        612 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 24, 2016, 11:03 am - IP Logged

        Really tempted to throw Sara Palin into this, but will be nice.  Don't think this would fly due to the scarcity of the residents--too spread out IMHO.

        They could just join Washington.

        Years ago before Luxemburg hat their own lottery they had a contract with the German lottery and sold tickets for that. A lotto revenue split between AK and WA shouldn't be too complicated, given it's all traceable.

          Avatar
          Alpharetta, GA
          United States
          Member #169547
          October 23, 2015
          123 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 24, 2016, 11:47 am - IP Logged

          Really tempted to throw Sara Palin into this, but will be nice.  Don't think this would fly due to the scarcity of the residents--too spread out IMHO.

          Lol!  I was gonna quip that no one lives in Alaska except Sarah Palin.

            Avatar
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #18322
            July 9, 2005
            1704 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 24, 2016, 12:02 pm - IP Logged

            I wish Hawaii would start a state lottery, other than PB/MM, then I would seriously consider relocating to Hawaii, b/c I prefer to live in a "paradise" state that has a lottery.

              travelintrucker's avatar - morph
              Greenville, SC
              United States
              Member #169870
              November 4, 2015
              374 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 24, 2016, 12:52 pm - IP Logged

              Move to Puerto Rico.

              May the balls bounce in your favor!

                Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                United States
                Member #162631
                January 7, 2015
                504 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 24, 2016, 3:27 pm - IP Logged

                I hope Alaska gets their Lottery.

                Yes, I do too.

                Why they didn't have one already is unthinkable.

                Of course, many people here know how I feel about adding people to our lottery, but hey Alaska is now part of the USA, since we bought from Russia, for . . . . I forget what it was. . . . $5000?

                  Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                  United States
                  Member #162631
                  January 7, 2015
                  504 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 24, 2016, 3:43 pm - IP Logged

                  Yes, I do too.

                  Why they didn't have one already is unthinkable.

                  Of course, many people here know how I feel about adding people to our lottery, but hey Alaska is now part of the USA, since we bought from Russia, for . . . . I forget what it was. . . . $5000?

                  .
                  To the people of Alaska:

                  I hope you get your lotto, once the politics are sorted out.
                  Why you haven't had it already just seems ridiculous.

                  I mean, what are you expected do all day, sitting in your igloos?
                  (just kidding, I know you have houses like other folks)

                  You don't want to know where I live.  I live where we got about
                  2 feet of snow!

                  I'll be stuck here for a while. About a week, by my estimates.
                  2 weeks by the county's estimates.

                    MaximumMillions's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg

                    Germany
                    Member #164603
                    March 8, 2015
                    612 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 24, 2016, 4:00 pm - IP Logged

                    Yes, I do too.

                    Why they didn't have one already is unthinkable.

                    Of course, many people here know how I feel about adding people to our lottery, but hey Alaska is now part of the USA, since we bought from Russia, for . . . . I forget what it was. . . . $5000?

                    7.2M$

                      Bondi Junction
                      Australia
                      Member #57242
                      December 24, 2007
                      1102 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 24, 2016, 4:54 pm - IP Logged

                      Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is in Juneau, Alaska, this week hoping to hit the jackpot: He's trying to convince lawmakers to authorize a state lottery.

                      Sullivan, who finished his second three-year term as mayor last year, said in an interview that a lottery could take a small bite out of the state's $3.8 billion budget deficit. And he's talked with more than a dozen lawmakers this week about approving legislation to set up a state lottery corporation, which would allow Alaska to participate in multistate games like Powerball.

                      "Bless the lotteries — they're the only voluntary form of taxation, so it's not government forcibly extracting from your wallet," he said, noting that he was quoting the writings of Thomas Jefferson. "If you want to play, you do, and if you don't, you don't. Does it solve the budget crisis? Nope. Does it help? Yes."

                      Sullivan is acting as the volunteer director of the Alaska Lottery Coalition — a group that he said claims other members, though he wouldn't identify any of them.

                      Alaska is one of six states that doesn't participate in Powerball, which this month saw its jackpot hit $1.5 billion. There's no state lottery in Alaska now, though gambling games like bingo, pull-tabs and the Nenana Ice Classic are allowed. Bingo and pull-tabs operate under charitable gaming licenses.

                      In 2014, gaming operators reported about $340 million in gross receipts to the state, which collected $2.5 million in taxes. A paper produced by Gov. Bill Walker's administration last year said the state could potentially produce $15 million in revenue by creating a lottery.

                      The last proposal to do so was in 2003, from a Republican senator who wanted to use the proceeds for education, but his legislation never made it to the floor for a vote.

                      Sullivan said he was involved in an effort to create a lottery 28 years ago that passed the state House and made it through Senate committees before being held off the floor by leadership — "or we would have had a state lottery," he said.

                      One of the lawmakers who met with Sullivan this week, Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, said she has a fundamental problem with gambling.

                      "People work hard for their money, and I don't want to see it frittered away," she said in an interview. "It seems like folks that can least afford it participate."

                      On the other hand, she added: "Who am I to be telling someone they can't?"

                      Gattis said she would consider legislation authorizing a state lottery, and Sullivan, she added, would likely "get many of us to think about it in a different way." Before she'd approve it, though, she said: "I'd have to look at the data."

                      Sullivan maintained that lotteries target a different, more affluent market than pull-tabs.

                      Lotteries, he said, "base their income on a lot of people playing a little."

                      "It's disposable income," he said.

                      Currently, Sullivan said, there's no money being spent on his effort, and he hasn't registered as a lobbyist.

                      "It's just a labor of love," he said.

                      Backers of a lottery may also consider pushing for a citizens initiative if lawmakers don't get behind their idea, he said.

                      Beyond his lottery campaign, Sullivan said he's been getting to the gym every day. But he said he has no plans to seek public office anytime soon.

                      News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

                      Alaskans can play a state lottery, just not an Alaskan state lottery. The Massachusetts lottery has a subscription service, which is available across the US, by phone. You don’t have to reside in Massachusetts to participate. 

                      We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                        Bondi Junction
                        Australia
                        Member #57242
                        December 24, 2007
                        1102 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: January 24, 2016, 5:03 pm - IP Logged

                        Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is in Juneau, Alaska, this week hoping to hit the jackpot: He's trying to convince lawmakers to authorize a state lottery.

                        Sullivan, who finished his second three-year term as mayor last year, said in an interview that a lottery could take a small bite out of the state's $3.8 billion budget deficit. And he's talked with more than a dozen lawmakers this week about approving legislation to set up a state lottery corporation, which would allow Alaska to participate in multistate games like Powerball.

                        "Bless the lotteries — they're the only voluntary form of taxation, so it's not government forcibly extracting from your wallet," he said, noting that he was quoting the writings of Thomas Jefferson. "If you want to play, you do, and if you don't, you don't. Does it solve the budget crisis? Nope. Does it help? Yes."

                        Sullivan is acting as the volunteer director of the Alaska Lottery Coalition — a group that he said claims other members, though he wouldn't identify any of them.

                        Alaska is one of six states that doesn't participate in Powerball, which this month saw its jackpot hit $1.5 billion. There's no state lottery in Alaska now, though gambling games like bingo, pull-tabs and the Nenana Ice Classic are allowed. Bingo and pull-tabs operate under charitable gaming licenses.

                        In 2014, gaming operators reported about $340 million in gross receipts to the state, which collected $2.5 million in taxes. A paper produced by Gov. Bill Walker's administration last year said the state could potentially produce $15 million in revenue by creating a lottery.

                        The last proposal to do so was in 2003, from a Republican senator who wanted to use the proceeds for education, but his legislation never made it to the floor for a vote.

                        Sullivan said he was involved in an effort to create a lottery 28 years ago that passed the state House and made it through Senate committees before being held off the floor by leadership — "or we would have had a state lottery," he said.

                        One of the lawmakers who met with Sullivan this week, Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, said she has a fundamental problem with gambling.

                        "People work hard for their money, and I don't want to see it frittered away," she said in an interview. "It seems like folks that can least afford it participate."

                        On the other hand, she added: "Who am I to be telling someone they can't?"

                        Gattis said she would consider legislation authorizing a state lottery, and Sullivan, she added, would likely "get many of us to think about it in a different way." Before she'd approve it, though, she said: "I'd have to look at the data."

                        Sullivan maintained that lotteries target a different, more affluent market than pull-tabs.

                        Lotteries, he said, "base their income on a lot of people playing a little."

                        "It's disposable income," he said.

                        Currently, Sullivan said, there's no money being spent on his effort, and he hasn't registered as a lobbyist.

                        "It's just a labor of love," he said.

                        Backers of a lottery may also consider pushing for a citizens initiative if lawmakers don't get behind their idea, he said.

                        Beyond his lottery campaign, Sullivan said he's been getting to the gym every day. But he said he has no plans to seek public office anytime soon.

                        News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

                        Perhaps, one could say, "the penny has finally dropped"!

                        We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                          Avatar
                          Simpsonville
                          United States
                          Member #163189
                          January 22, 2015
                          674 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: January 24, 2016, 5:08 pm - IP Logged

                          Alaskans can play a state lottery, just not an Alaskan state lottery. The Massachusetts lottery has a subscription service, which is available across the US, by phone. You don’t have to reside in Massachusetts to participate. 

                          Yes they do, but I'll reiterate it for the umteenth time.  You can only order on the phone MegaBucks Doubler. I bought my MM and L4L subscription while on vacation back home.  Brother finally got my Powerball ticket.  If you get them while they are on sale, you get SEVEN weeks free which is a great bonus.  Powerplay and Megaplier are naturally not available since it changes all the time.

                            larry3100's avatar - larry icon2.jpg
                            Redwood City,California
                            United States
                            Member #70503
                            February 3, 2009
                            200 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 24, 2016, 5:53 pm - IP Logged

                            Who is the government of Alaska to tell the residents of Alaska how to spend their money. Anyone could spend their money on cigarettes,alcohol or whatever, and Alaska's doesn't have a law against that. On or before that January 13th, Powerball drawing of that $1.5 billion,many people who were residing in Alaska, went across the border of Alaska to purchase Powerball lottery tickets. The government of Alaska were the big losers on that day.