Gibbons opposes lottery proposal

Gov. Jim Gibbons said Monday he opposes amending Nevada's Constitution to permit a state lottery.

"I respect recent efforts by some legislators to explore options for new revenue to the state; however, I do not believe it is a proper function of Nevada government to operate a lottery, nor do I think that the state should be in competition with its largest industry," said Gibbons in a prepared statement.

The lottery amendment is in AJR5 introduced last week by Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas. It has already been approved by the Assembly. Mortenson told colleagues a lottery could generate anywhere from $50 million to $200 million a year for public schools.

The lottery proposal has been brought up in nearly every session as a way to raise money for education. While it passes the Assembly, it has never made it through the Senate and onto the ballot.

Gibbons said a lottery actually wouldn't generate additional revenues but, rather, shift the source of revenues.

And he said studies show they don't promote economic development.

"Elsewhere, lotteries have proven to be costly and bureaucratic, something I do not believe our citizens want more of in Nevada. I will not, therefore, support any legislation that includes the establishment of a lottery in Nevada."

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