May 1, 2023
The latest news from the United States says the Nevada Senate is considering a bill to legalize state lotteries. A member of the assembly, Cameron C.H. Miller, is the sponsor of the AJR5 (Assembly Joint Resolution 5) bill. This resolution intends to modify the Nevada constitution by eliminating the clause which forbids the state from organizing a lottery or selling lottery tickets.
In his speech, the lawmaker was quick to clarify that AJR5 would not set up a lottery in Nevada. Miller says the bill gives gamblers in the Silver State a chance to decide if they want to legally play lottery games through a public vote. The proposal must be approved by the current legislative sitting and the next one for it to make it to the ballot in 2026.
In mid-March, the resolution was proposed to the Assembly, which it sailed through with a commanding 26-15 vote. However, two Democratic legislators, Shondra Summers-Armstrong and David Orentlicher, both from Las Vegas, did not support the measure.
The Culinary Union and the gaming industry, Nevada's two most influential entities, have taken opposing stances regarding the matter. The Culinary Union says the state’s legislators should support the bill because it offers an excellent way for the state to help young people with their mental well-being.
Paul Catha, a lobbyist from the Culinary Union, declared:
"Sustainable investment in youth mental health is good public policy that is long overdue and implementing a state lottery would allow Nevada to address an ongoing and urgent public health crisis".
As expected in any democratic gaming space, the new bill has also drawn sharp criticism. Various members of the Nevada Resorts Association, Meruelo Gaming, Boyd Gaming Corporation, among others, have voiced their opposition to the measure. They say there is no guarantee that the revenue from lottery gaming operators in the state could help sort out mental health-related issues.
Nick Vassiliadis, Nevada Resort Association’s lobbyist, stated:
"Nowhere else is a state as reliant on a single industry for employment, for economic development, for economic diversity as Nevada is with gaming. The lottery does not add new jobs. The lottery doesn't add capital investments. The lottery doesn't add brick and mortar establishments".
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