Mississippi is one of the few states to not have any sort of state lottery. The state constitution had banned any sort of lottery up until 1992 when voters approved to overturn it. The lawmakers in the state have not yet passed any laws to start a state lottery. It is possible that the lottery was banned because the state was trying to preserve revenue from riverboat gambling.
Recently, the chairman of the state gaming board has announced that he will hold hearings to determine several lottery related things and at least one lawmaker said they will introduce a bill to legalize a state lottery. Mississippi residents are already going out of state to play the lottery so many lawmakers ask why can’t the revenue be kept in the state, which is estimated at $80 to $100 million dollars a year. Many lawmakers have said they would support a state lottery as long as the revenues were used for a specific purpose, like education. There are many states that have lotteries where the funds are specifically used for higher education scholarships and it seems if Mississippi wants a lottery, they are going to have to follow suit.
Arkansas is worried about the possibility of Mississippi starting a lottery because they seem to be the state that Mississippi residents to go most to get their lottery fix, especially during this last Powerball run when the jackpot soared over $550 million dollars.
Rep. Alyce Clarke has tried six times to get lawmakers to pass a lottery bill as she states that players are going to play so why send the money out of state when the money can stay in and help out residents.
Time will tell if Mississippi will join the other 86% of the United States and pass a new lottery bill so residents can get lottery games within their state.