Residents should be given a chance to decide on lottery | NevadaAppeal.com

Residents should be given a chance to decide on lottery

“Oddly enough …” a feature highlighting weird news from around the world, normally appears on page 2 of the Appeal, but readers may have thought it was continued on the Legislature page on Wednesday.

There, a story related how Assembly Minority Leader Garn Mabey, R-Las Vegas, opposed allowing voters a say on whether the state should have a lottery, which he said “takes a toll on our society.”

In Nevada?

If we’ve already survived practically every other form of gambling, not to mention other legalized vices, there’s little chance a lottery will put us over the edge. The Assembly made the right choice in approving AJR5 and sending it to the Senate. If it survives, the public could be voting on a lottery in 2010, which may provide up to $200 million for public schools each year.

But, of course, the odds of that happening aren’t much better than the odds of winning with a lottery ticket. The resolution has failed in the past because some of the money people will spend on the lottery will be money they won’t spend at casinos. And that’s why we’re one of only eight states that does not have a state lottery, even though surveys show most Nevadans would vote for it.

If only legislators would give them a chance.