Las Vegas Sun

May 6, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

No excuse for lack of a lottery

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Let’s get on the Powerball gravy train in Nevada right now. No more lobbyists for big gaming crying the blues about how a lottery will hurt gaming in Nevada. It’s simply not true. Two major TV networks showed video of the lottery store on the California-Nevada border at Primm.

Lines for tickets were huge, and the networks (CBS and NBC) cited the location as Nipton, Calif. Nonsense. Nipton has a population of 60 people. All of the folks waiting for hours to buy a Powerball ticket were, quite simply, Nevadans. There is no longer any excuse for Nevada not having a lottery, particularly Powerball. Got a problem funding education in Nevada? The answer is simple: Lottery now.

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  1. Our State Constitution prohibits it. If our legislature were to act on this now the earliest we could vote on it would be in 2016.

    I agree that we need to have this, but it will take time. Realistically speaking pressure needs to be brought to bear on the 2015 and 2017 legislatures so we can vote on this in 2018.

  2. Nevada Lawmakers need to throw some love to the everyday, little guy Nevadan for once, and change the Nevada Constitution to allow the lottery for the public.

    The Gaming/Casino/Resort industry needs to get a grip on their never-ending need for greed and having it all, especially now that they have expanded to overseas and out of state!!! How much exclusive money and control do they need to have to be satisfied??? Please throw the public dog a bone (so to speak on an old saying---not to insult any), and permit the lottery (because it is a known fact that the Gaming/Casino/Resort industries have long held control over the Nevada Constitution and thereby the ability of Nevada Citizens to have a lottery).

    Having a lottery will not take away from the Gaming/Casino/Resort industry, as there are many, many everyday Moms and Pops out there that would never set foot inside a casino or resort due to their religious values and beliefs, but they will purchase or receive as a gift lottery tickets on a whim. There is simply not all the edginess, sex, drinking, and sinning image issues involved with a lone lottery ticket gifted or purchased at a local market.

    Folks everywhere, traditionally "hope" to win the "Big One" with a lottery ticket. Please let the little guy, everyday citizen enjoy those hopes and dreams while generating a little extra tax revenue with having a Nevada Lottery. That will do some good here. Thank you.

    Blessings and Peace,

  3. One should note that the odds in the casino are better than the odds on any state lottery. Lotteries are just bad bets. An economics professor I had once said, "If you ran a numbers racket in a town and paid 90% of the money out as prized, it would be called a crime. If you run a state lottery and you pay 50% of the money out as prizes, it is called a game." And as a percentage of income, lotteries hit the low income people harder than anyone. That said, if you want additional revenue for the state, having it be voluntary revenue is a good thing. The lottery tax is only one you pay if you choose to do so. In New Mexico, which is close in locale and population, they net revenue from lottery sales was over $43M in 2011. That is perhaps 1.5% of the state education budget, so not a big jump but something. (Although some studies show that in most states actual education spending does not change much since other revenue is then diverted from education over time.)

    But if Nevadans want the option of having a lottery, then they need to step up and let the state legislature know. And keep after them about it, since it will take time to get it done. (Full disclosure: I have been known to go to Primm or Bullhead City get buy a lottery ticket from time to time.)

  4. Re antigov: Read my handle: it is short for Resident since 1973.

    I am fully aware of the legislature being in the pocket of Big Gaming. Is, and always has been. That doesn't mean things can't change, and in this case, with the CCSD and Metro whining for more dollars, the time is now to have a lottery here. At the powerball website, it is stated that 96% of every dollar collected goes toward the community. I'm sick of the CCSD picking my pocket for increases in property taxes to fund their latest boondoggle: smaller class sizes being the latest scam to take more dough out of the taxpayer's wallet. I have paid for schools and associated nonsense since day one, and have never had a child in the CCSD. Want smaller class sizes parents? Come out of YOUR pocket: more kids enrolled the more YOU pay. Metro making veiled threats that crime prevention will suffer without more bucks, again out of all taxpayer's pockets. Retirees and people on the low end of the wage scale are hard pressed enough now; no more property tax increases, thank you. If a lottery is offered, the residents of this state, and particularly Clark County, will approve it in a landslide.

  5. Re all: The odds of winning powerball are more than 175 million to one. Who cares: somebody will win it won't they.

    I've commented more than once that if the poor suffering gamers in this burg are "worried" about lost revenue, then put the terminals for ticket purchase in each and every casino in the state. Powerball tickets are 2 bucks each; Megabucks is 3 bucks a pull, with a miniscule payoff in comparison.

    Scenario: I frequent Redrock Resort. I usually put 30 bucks in Megabucks, and then enjoy a lunch and a couple of brewskis at the Yard House. Buying a few quick picks for Powerball isn't going to influence my playing Megabucks or my enjoyable interlude at the Yard House.

    Bottom Line: 43 States and the District of Columbia are involved in Powerball. Let's make Nevada the 44th State, and give folks just one more way to enjoy gaming, which a lottery is: gaming, nothing more, nothing less.

  6. The question to ask is with having thousands of people lined up to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Primm. Did the Primm casino's benefit in anyway from all who came and bought these Powerball tickets? Or did the Powerball ticket buyer's just get back in their cars and drive back to Las Vegas?