Carson City passed a Nevada lottery bill this week. Yet, lottery players have slim chances of buying Powerball and Mega Millions tickets in the state soon.
Many players visit The Lotto Store at Primm to buy the tickets, a short distance from the Silver State's California border. Las Vegas and Nevada are renowned for their gaming properties. The state has high-end casino resorts that attract international players.
Surprisingly, Nevada is among the five states in the U.S. that lack a lottery. Cameron "CH" Miller (D-North Las Vegas), Assistant Majority Assembly Floor, and most Assembly members are determined to legalize lottery gaming in the state. Miller made a joint resolution in the Nevada Legislature which has kicked off the constitutional amendment process.
Assembly Joint Resolution 5 intends to amend the constitution to enable Nevada to form a lottery that will start selling games of chance tickets. The Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections cleared the statute in March.
The Nevada Assembly backed the lottery bill after voting 26-15. It will move to the Senate and later on to the Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections of the upper chamber for discussion.
Does Lottery Have a High Likelihood of Being Legalized in Nevada?
Nevada has concentrated a lot on casino gaming for many years. This is one of the major reasons why it is one of the country's few states that lack a lottery. Leading local casino operators claim that creating a lottery will adversely affect their operations and reduce their profits and the tax revenue that Nevada receives hence weakening its economy.
Even so, lottery supporters such as Miller refute these claims stating that over 24 states have successfully run a lottery and casinos. Miller added that most gaming partners in Nevada have ventured into other states' gaming markets where they run lotteries.
He said that setting clear gaming laws will enable casinos and lotteries to coexist. Miller believes that Nevada is in a distinct position to attract top players from all over the world and offer unique gaming options. It can collaborate with gaming partners to create an interesting and enjoyable lottery.
Lottery critics aren't relenting in objecting to its legalization in the state. Assemblywoman Jill Dickman(R-Washoe) stated that the lottery will destabilize the gaming industry by causing unfair competition. Also, she believes that lotteries eventually become voluntary taxes to players and local communities.
The Bill's Review Process
The Nevada Senate can pass AJR5 as it is. But, the gaming measure won't reach Governor Joe Lombardo's(R) office immediately as it might be returned to the Assembly for consideration for two years in the 2025 legislative session of the chamber.
The lottery bill requires the Senate's approval if the Assembly passes it in 2025. Then, Nevadans will hold a gaming ballot in 2026 for the state to create its lottery. The lawmakers will have the mandate to form it and join various interstate games, including Powerball and Mega Millions, if the majority of the voters back the constitutional amendment.