Lt. Gov. Bill Halter took his Arkansas Lottery Traveling Salvation Show to Springdale on Tuesday, where he pitched the plan to the Senior Democrats organization.
Reporter Tracie Dungan from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette notes that several attendees flatly stated that they opposed the plan. While some folks have argued for setting a minimum percentage of lottery revenues to be dedicated to scholarships, Halter says that’s not part of his plan:
Lottery directors in other states have cautioned against mandating a scholarship percentage.
“They’ve found that simply doesn’t work,” Halter told the Senior Democrats of Northwest Arkansas during a luncheon speech and question session in Springdale.
The other states have found that such commitments can drive the prize jackpots down, hurting a state’s competitiveness with lotteries in other states, Halter said, surmising that residents of the state’s northwest corner are familiar with lotteries in neighboring Missouri and Oklahoma.
Arkansas Family Council head Jerry Cox chimes in with some relevant questions, but without a well-funded organized opposition, the lottery issue looks like a runaway train.
The Arkansas Project’s Freeman Hunt laid out her brief against the state lottery here, and I covered disputes between state legislators and Halter on the issue here.