Mississippi to take a serious look at a lottery

Published 11:09 am Friday, January 5, 2018

The lottery as an option for Mississippi could get serious attention this legislative season.

Most states already have one, though neighboring Mississippi and Alabama do not. Mississippi has budget woes and needs some easy money. Therefore a state lottery is a hot topic once again.

Two groups with strong lobbies are opposed, of course.  Mississippi casinos don’t want a lottery because they want a monopoly on gambling in the state. Religious groups don’t  want a lottery because they don’t believe gambling is good for the people.

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It’s not, by the way. Very few humans have seen improved lives from gambling. And a lottery is gambling, albeit mild in comparison to $10 slot machines or blackjack tables. It’s just that the typical lottery player has a below average income with no money to spare.

We will admit that a lottery is not most desirable. Gambling has not been good for the overall and long-term health of the state.

But the establishment of new gaming like casinos the early 1990s or a potential lottery delivers early, easy cash flow, providing shorter-term budget wins. That’s why Mississippi legislators are likely to take a serious look at the lottery.

They need money, now, and don’t know where else to find it.