Wyoming moves closer to creating lottery - KOTA Territory News

Wyoming moves closer to creating lottery

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After several years of seeing lawmakers dismiss bill after bill, Wyoming could finally have a state lottery.  This is not the first time lawmakers have tried to bring the lottery to Wyoming, but a lottery bill has never come this close to actually passing.

The State Souse approved the bill Monday.  The lottery's fate now rests with the Senate.  Many business owners hope the legislation passes, believing a lottery would boost their revenue.

"It's good for the state, it's good for the local economy, it's good for hiring," said Rex Martin, owner of the Quik Sak gas station in Sheridan.

Martin says he's noticed people head out of state to buy lottery tickets.

"People from this state take their money to Montana and buy lottery tickets," said Martin.

"Well, if the people are going to go somewhere and buy this, why not let them do it in Wyoming?  I really think that's what's behind it," said Sheridan County Commissioner Bob Rolston.

Rolston also wants to see a Wyoming State Lottery, because most of the revenue generated would go to city and county governments and Rolston says they need the money.

"It appears that counties and cities and municipalities are taking another blow to the chin on some of our financing," said Rolston.

But since everyone's heard this talk before opinions are mixed as to if the state will allow a lottery.

"Probably not.  Never has in the past, but I think it would be a good idea," said Martin.

"It's made it further that it has before, so I believe there's a little optimism now," said Rolston.

The bill only barely passed the house by a couple of votes.  Opposing legislators say lotteries take advantage of low income families who hope to win big but end up only wasting their limited income.

The bill only allows a state or multi-state lottery, like power ball.  Scratch off tickets are not included.

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