NEVADA – The debate surrounding the Nevada State Lottery Resolution continues as the Nevada Legislature considers a proposal to repeal a 159-year-old constitutional ban on lotteries. The issue was discussed at a Senate hearing on Thursday, during which proponents and opponents expressed their opinions on the matter.
Advocates of the lottery believe that it would provide a source of funding for the state, while opponents are concerned that it would detract from revenue generated by other forms of gambling. Sponsors of the bill argue that the money generated by the lottery would be used to support youth mental health programs, an issue that many people testified about during the hearing.
One Nevada mother spoke on behalf of her son, who has bipolar disorder, saying, “There should be more resources in Nevada to raise awareness. Our kids are not weak or defective and they deserve better.”
If passed, Assembly Joint Resolution 5 (AJR5) would create a state lottery in Nevada. Some residents believe that it would be a positive addition to the state. “It’s just adding more gambling to Vegas. Why not give me a chance to win some money,” said Las Vegas resident Ricky Freeman.
However, not everyone is in favor of the proposal. Red Rock Resorts, a casino in Nevada, wrote a letter opposing the resolution. Despite this opposition, many locals are excited about the prospect of being able to play the lottery in the state.
“I think people will go to the state line, so I don’t see a problem with it,” said Las Vegas resident Mahie Stoner.
While the debate continues about whether or not a lottery would benefit the state, senior reporter Howard Stutz with Nevada Independent says that the real challenge will be in how it is regulated.
“Does Nevada create a lottery commission? Does the Gaming Control Board take the lottery? That’s going to be the real challenge we’re going to face,” Stutz said.
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