Gambling

Three Quarters of Nevadans Polled Back Implementing Lottery

Posted on: March 28, 2024, 08:43h. 

Last updated on: March 28, 2024, 08:43h.

As lotteries continue to pay out over $1B, Nevada residents want some of the action. A recent poll revealed an overwhelming 75% of Nevadans questioned would like to see a lottery in the state.

Line for lottery tickets at The Lotto Store in Primm
Line for lottery tickets at The Lotto Store in Primm, Nev., pictured above. Nevadans now head to border towns like Primm to purchase lottery tickets. (Image: Las Vegas Sun)

Just 13% of those taking part in the survey were opposed to a lottery in Nevada. And 12% were unsure or said they had no opinion on the issue, according to the Noble Predictive Insights Nevada Public Opinion Pulse poll.

Support for a lottery is seen among all major political affiliations. The poll showed 82% of Democrats, 74% of Republicans, and 71% of independents want a Nevada lottery.

The results came from questions posed to 829 registered voters in Nevada. The survey took place between February 27 and March 5.

Under the state’s constitution, a lottery is currently illegal in Nevada. In order to enact a lottery, there needs to be an amendment to the state’s constitution.

Such a move was attempted over 24 times, the most recent being in 2023. But it never was successful.

A resolution, Joint Resolution 5, proposed by Assemblyman Cameron “C.H.” Miller, D-Las Vegas, approved by state legislators last year, next needs to be approved by the legislature in a possible 2025 vote to move forward.

Under Miller’s proposal, money raised by the sale of lottery tickets in Nevada would fund expanded services for youth mental health.

One possible wrinkle in the process is that all assembly member seats are up for election in November, according to Las Vegas TV station KTNV. It is not clear if the successful legislative candidates will back a lottery.

If the Assembly were to pass the lottery bill in 2025, it would again need Senate approval.

Voters Input

If the resolution gets approved by the politicians, it next heads to the voters in 2026.

If residents approve the measure, it returns to the state legislature in 2027. Legislators will have to approve still another bill.

That would create the lottery and provide regulations, according to Las Vegas TV station KVVU. Then, Nevada politicians could consider joining in multistate lotteries, like Powerball and Mega Millions.

Licensed gambling properties may choose to weigh in on the issue, too. They may not want competition for their gaming floors.

Heading to Border

Currently, many Nevada residents who want to buy lottery tickets head to convenience stores in border towns, in states like Arizona and California.

For instance, The Lotto Store in Primm, Nev., sells more lottery tickets than any other lottery vendor in California, according to Vital Vegas.

Because these tickets are sold in neighboring states, Nevada does not profit from the sale. It adds up to millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Nevada is one of five states which bans lotteries. The others are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah.


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