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Nevada Moves Closer to Creating State Lottery System

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Nevada has moved slightly closer to allowing lottery games in the state, with lawmakers approving a procedural vote to create a state lottery system.

On May 26, the state Senate passed AJR5, a proposed constitutional amendment to remove the prohibition on state lotteries, by 12 votes to 8. However, the legislation did not head straight to the governor. Rather, because it would change the state’s constitution, it needs to be passed in two successive legislative sessions and then supported by voters in the next general election.

Assembly member C.H. Miller led the push for a state lottery. He says that now it is just a matter of waiting to see what happens and that much will depend on the makeup of the next Legislature.

I’m hoping that we’re all re-elected. I think that this body has indicated that there’s a willingness to move this forward. We still have another election to go through to see if the next legislative body will also want to see the voters get an opportunity to vote on this.

C.H. MillerNevada Assembly Member

Miller also believes that interest from the population will help. A recent poll carried out by Nevada Independent and Noble Predictive Insights found that approximately 71% of people support the establishment of a statewide lottery.

The California Lottery has said that its two biggest ticket sellers by annual revenue are both directly across from the Nevada state line, suggesting that Nevadans are keen lottery players. Miller also highlighted that Nevada is missing out on significant revenues due to people going to purchase lottery tickets in different states.

However, while the news may be positive, more than two dozen attempts to create a state lottery in Nevada have failed. The idea is widely opposed by the gambling industry, and Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resorts Association, has said that the group will continue to raise objections.

In a statement, Valentine said, “Unlike the gaming industry, lotteries provide almost no employment and create no economic development or capital investment.”

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