Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Wyoming governor signs bill bringing lottery games to state
First Published Mar 20 2013 09:08 am • Last Updated Mar 21 2013 07:27 am

CHEYENNE, Wyo. • Wyoming residents can start thinking about their lucky numbers and dreaming about hitting the big one.

Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill into law Wednesday that lets the state create a lottery or join a multi-state game such as Powerball.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Wyoming is one of about a half dozen states without such prize drawings.

While he’s personally "lukewarm" about a lottery, Mead said he was persuaded by the prospect of Wyoming benefiting from its potential revenue and retaining the money that state residents have been spending on lottery tickets in bordering states.

"For me it was a question of how many people we have leaving the state, participating in the lottery in other states, and in doing so taking Wyoming money, Wyoming people out of the state, and not only buying a lottery (ticket) but the Coca-Cola, and the hotdog, the movie maybe or the dinner," he said.

A lottery would bring an estimated $25 million a year to Wyoming. After expenses and prizes, it would net the state an estimated $6 million annually.

Under the law, the first $6 million in lottery proceeds will go to local governments. Any additional proceeds would go to a public school foundation fund.

The Legislature will review where the money is being spent after six years.

The use of the proceeds was a topic of debate as the bill moved through the Legislature, but Mead said he was OK with the money going to local governments first.

"I’ve continued to look at ways of providing more revenue to towns and counties," he said.


story continues below
story continues below

Mead has until July 1 to appoint a nine-member board that will oversee the quasi-governmental corporation that will run the lottery. It’ll take about a year to get the lottery up and running.

While not wanting to pre-empt the future lottery board’s decisions, Mead said it seemed more practical for Wyoming to participate in a multi-state lottery rather than set up its own game.

A company that operates the multi-state lottery likely would provide the equipment and run the games in exchange for keeping a percentage of the ticket sales, he said.

A statewide lottery had been continually shot down in the Legislature since the 1980s. Until this year, the lottery proposal had never even cleared the House, where revenue-generating bills must originate.

Opponents had long argued that a statewide lottery is a form of gambling and is a regressive tax on poor residents who play the game.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.