Mississippi to Consider Lottery

(Southaven, MS) Gerald Bobbit plays the lottery twice a week, hoping to score big, ”Of course, hoping to be a winner, you know, and some of that money goes to the schools and so it’s not all together a bad thing like going to the casinos to straight-out gamble”.

Not that there’s anything bad about that, since Mississippi makes a good chunk of its budget from Casino Gambling.

But now, the head of the House Gaming Committee wants to look at adding a lottery to Mississippi.

Mississippi voters approved a state lottery back in 1992, but the Legislature never enacted it.

Now, lawmakers say they’re ready to look into a lottery.

Lawmakers could take their first preliminary steps in the next three to four weeks.

But many lawmakers don’t see a lottery proposal going very far.

”The votes just aren’t there. I don’t think the sentiment of the Legislature is to bring a lottery in,” said Mississippi State Representative Pat Nelson (R) of Southaven.

Why? Casinos will almost certainly lobby against it, and many see a lottery, just like gambling, as a voluntary tax, and say it’s not needed.

Others though say it could help shore up the State budget.

And while some lawmakers don’t like a Mississippi lottery, lots of people and potential players do.

”I heard that recently and I hope they do. Why? Because they can have the same advantage that Tennessee’s got. They can put more in their schools,” said Bobbitt.

For now, Lawmakers are only promising to look at the issue, but that’s more than they’ve done, since voters approved the idea.

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