Optimism around Mississippi lottery bill

State officials believe that a lottery bill could have better chances to make it this year.

US.- Mississippi started the legislative sessions on Tuesday 2, and Democratic Rep. Alyce Clarke believes that this year they have more chances at legalising lottery in the state. According to the politician, a legal lottery would help improve the educational system.

According to DJournal, Clarke commented that she expects lottery revenue to help fund a college scholarship program like it already exists in other states. “It will help the children,” she said. Last year, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said that he would be open to a general discussion regarding a statewide lottery, but he was not in favor of the college fund. “While I am open to a lottery discussion, I would be adamantly opposed to dedicating the revenue derived from it to a particular agency or line item, particularly one as important as education. The future of our schoolchildren should not be left to a game of chance,” he said.

Bryant remarked that the Department of Revenue estimates that the lottery could generate up to US$100 million in revenue for Mississippi. Whilst Clark and Bryant are in favor of discussing the possibilities that a legalised lottery could bring to the state, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves believes that a lottery doesn’t provide an important economic impact: “Right now, Mississippi requires gambling institutions to provide real economic impact. 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.”