Wednesday, October 20, 2021

New Amendment Asks Mississippi Gaming Commission For State Lottery

Mississippi Capitol Building in Jackson. Photo courtesy of Visit Mississippi

There are only six states in the country without a lottery; Mississippi is one of those states. The debate has gone on for years on whether or not the Magnolia state should join the likes of the majority of the country and adopt a lottery system. Yesterday, an amendment was added to a bill in front of the Mississippi House of Representatives to do just that.
The question of whether the Magnolia state should join the likes of the majority of the country and adopt a lottery system has been a topic of interest for years.
Yesterday, an amendment was added to a bill in front of the Mississippi House of Representatives to do just that.
Rep. Alyce Clark, D-Jackson, citing the fact that a state lottery would benefit Mississippians, wrote an amendment to the Gaming Commission’s appropriation bill (SB 2986). The amendment reads as follows:
“No funds appropriated under this Act may be expended unless there is an established state lottery by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.” 
The amendment has been set aside and is set to go before the committee chairman for a decision on its inclusion on SB 2986. 
Lottery systems are used in different ways across the country but often pay for scholarship opportunities for in-state students. In Georgia, for example, the HOPE scholarship has appropriated more than $8 billion and been distrusted to over 1.7 million recipients. Also, a pre-k program has been established to aid more than 1.3 million children in receiving quality preparation for Kindergarten. 
In Tennessee, more than 100,000 individuals benefit each year from grants and scholarships funded through the lottery system. In her address to the floor, Clark mentioned that Mississippians have been paying into Tennessee’s lottery for years and that a state lottery would directly benefit children and students in Mississippi. 
Revenue streams can fluctuate from state lotteries, and therefore, shouldn’t be a cornerstone of a state’s economy. That being said, Mississippi could benefit from another source of revenue to fund its infrastructure or help students attended public universities through scholarship opportunities.   
Earlier this month, an AP report stated that Governor Phil Bryant was pushing for a state lottery system to bolster the state’s economy. HottyToddy.com ran a poll which received 204 votes with the majority in favor of a state lottery. 


Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com
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