Mississippi Governor Wants Lottery Bill Enacted

by Jim Hall

Governor Phil BryantGovernor Phil Bryant wants to see lawmakers move forward a bill to enact a state lottery.

Several states in the US still do not participate in gambling activities including the lottery. There are conservative states, especially those in the south, that have never discussed or have failed to pass legislation in order to offer gambling services, such as the lottery. Alabama and Mississippi are two states in the South that do not participate in the lottery, though lawmakers are currently trying to see that change.

In Alabama, the governor as well as certain lawmakers have begun to study the lottery to try and see if the state can benefit. In Mississippi, a lottery bill is actually on the table and the Governor of the state, Phil Bryant, would like to see the bill enacted.

Bring Millions to the State

Governor Bryant has stated that if Mississippi were to begin offering lottery gaming, the state would be able to reap the benefits, earning multi-millions of dollars in the process. The state is expected to see big earnings each year, especially considering that Alabama does not offer a lottery and players typically go to Tennessee or Georgia to purchase tickets. Players could easily come from the state to make their ticket purchases in Mississippi as well as purchases made by residents of the state.

According to a report by the Ledger-Enquirer, the Governor has tried one last time to convince lawmakers in the Senate and House to enact legislation that would create a lottery due to the need for tax collections.

The state is currently hurting in regards to finances, having made spending cuts for the third time during the budget year which started last July 1st. Bryant stated that when you are looking at the challenges that the state is currently facing, and you see the revenue bill that could generate anywhere from 50 to 60 million dollars, it is something that should be considered seriously in the Senate and House.

The Governor has been a strong supporter of the lottery for his state and has even been supportive of residents as they travel to nearby Arkansas to purchase lottery tickets. Bryant seems to see that there is a need for lottery gaming and is working his hardest to see it come to fruition.

Previous Efforts

Earlier this month, lottery proposals for the state died in the House but the same proposals have the ability to be revived within the Senate over the next few weeks. The legislative session will start soon and will take place for three months, ending on the 2nd of April. This will give legislators some time to come to a decision on the bill or possibly make any amendments in order to see the bill pass into law.

Bryant further stated that when hew as in the position as lieutenant governor, he found that if he had a majority of members willing to see the matter come up for a vote then it should. Bryant feels that lawmakers should be able to vote on the matter and listen to public opinion in regards to the lottery.

In the South, the states are ruled by old time religion, a fact that does not align with gambling activity. While many residents would love to see a lottery made available, there are those who feel gambling is a sin and should not be allowed. Republican lawmakers have a history in the South of not moving forward with legislation when it comes to the lottery.

For now, Bryant will have to use his charm and any information he can provide to try and persuade lawmakers to pass legislation to enact a lottery. It seems like a long-shot but still doable if every factor lines up correctly.