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What 8 States Are Without Lotteries and Why?

Jun 7, 2008
Despite the fact that lotteries provide a great source of government revenue for state programs, especially education, and a great amount of fun, there are 8 states that currently do not have state lotteries. The states that currently do not have lotteries are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. It is evident why most of these states continue to resist implementing a state lottery. For example, in Alabama, Mississippi and Utah, there is considerable religious opposition to all gambling. In Nevada, the casino industry opposes the lottery because of the competition it would create. Both Alaska and Hawaii are isolated from other states and therefore need not worry about losing money to nearby states. Lottery supporters in all eight of these states remain hopeful that a state lottery will eventually be put into place. If this happens, these 8 states could not only create their own exciting lotteries, but also participate in multi-state games such as Powerball and Mega Millions.


In 1999, a constitutional amendment to allow a State Lottery was defeated in the state of Alabama. Approximately 54% of voters opposed the lottery referendum while 46%, supported it. The total voter turnout was estimated at 50%. There is a strong Christian argument against instating the lottery in the state of Alabama. There has been little talk since 1999 about another state lottery proposal.


In 2003 there was a lot of buzz about gambling proposals in the state of Alaska. However, unlike Alabama, Alaska never brought a state lottery proposal to ballot. There has been little talk lately of implementing a state lottery in Alaska.


There is much talk in Arkansas about instating a state lottery. In fact, on April 13th, 2008 Lt. Gov. Bill Halter announced that enough signatures had been collected to put a lottery proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot. The state lottery proposal in Arkansas is described as the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. The proceeds of the lottery would be used to fund scholarships and grants to citizens of Arkansas who are enrolled in public and private nonprofit colleges and universities located within the State. In 1996 and 2000, Arkansas voters rejected state lotteries whose proposals also included provisions for casinos. It seems the Arkansas citizens will get another chance to vote on an Arkansas state lottery at the end of this year.


Hawaii also does not have a state lottery. Like Alaska, there has been little talk lately in Hawaii about instating a state lottery. There are few arguments for or against a state lottery in Hawaii. Politicians' main argument against a state lottery centers around the idea that it is unnecessary and is not needed for the education system to thrive.


While Mississippi does have casinos, it does not have a state lottery. In fact, proposals for a state lottery tend to be defeated in Mississippi because they would take away from casino profit. In 1990 a proposal for a state lottery was defeated in Mississippi. Like Alaska and Hawaii, there is little talk lately about the prospect of a state lottery in Mississippi.


Like Mississippi, state legislatures have continuously voted down the state lottery proposals because it will interfere with the casino industry. In fact, a proposal for a Nevada state lottery has failed 24 times since 1975, and the people have never gotten the chance to decide. In 2007, on the 25th try, a bill made it through the House of Representatives but it has not been acted on in the senate yet. This bill would allow voters to decide the issue, although the legislature would have to approve the bill again in 2009 before it would appear on the ballot in 2010. There is constant talk in Nevada about implementing a state lottery.


Utah is the only state that currently does not have a lottery that is not seriously consider implementing a state lottery. Like Mississippi and Alabama, there is widespread religious opposition to gambling. There is little talk lately of putting into place a state lottery in Utah where gambling is completely banned.


Like the preceding seven states, Wyoming does not have a state lottery. For over ten years, lawmakers in Wyoming have been considering a state lottery. A proposed bill was narrowly voted down in 2005 by the Wyoming House of Representatives. In February of 2007 a bill to introduce a state lottery was voted down again by the Wyoming House of Representatives by a vote of 31-27. The talk of a Wyoming state lottery continues and supporters are hopeful that a lottery will soon be put into place.

How You Can Play the Lottery

If you live in any of these non-lottery states and wish to play this or any other state lottery, simply log onto official state lottery websites. These sites explain how to purchase tickets, and often times tickets can be purchased online so you can play most state lotteries from the comfort of your own home. You can also refer to official state websites for custom lottery news. Many sites offer lottery number generators to help make your lottery number picking easier for you. If you would like to purchase your tickets in person, you can also visit a local lottery terminal. No matter how you choose to purchase your tickets, or which tickets you choose to buy, you're bound to have some fun!
About the Author
Anthony Wayne works in the marketing department of online lottery site LuckyLotto in Pennsylvania. He is also editor of the Internet Bingo Blog a great source of internet bingo information.
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