Officials worry lottery might create ‘shell game’ with funds

JACKSON – The five states studied by a special lottery committee formed by House Speaker Philip Gunn all use a portion of their lottery earnings to fund education.

But, according to Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, chairman of the study committee, “A lot of them feel it is just a shell game. If (state earnings from a lottery) goes to education, that just means less money from the general fund” going to education. But Bennett added, “A lot of people feel it makes for a better sale if some of it goes to education.”

The nine-person lottery study group formed by Gunn met Tuesday to hear reports on lottery operations from the neighboring states of Arkansas and Louisiana; as well as Texas, which operates the largest lottery; Wyoming, the state with the newest lottery; and Nebraska, an example of a well-run lottery, according to state officials.

Daily Journal