Assembly bill calls for a lottery in Nevada

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 3:18 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - On January 10, 2023, we took you to Gold Ranch where the Mega Millions Lottery was so big, a billion dollars could not fit on the display.

This is one of the most popular places where northern Nevadans can get in on the lottery action. North of Reno and Sparks its Hallelujah Junction. In Southern Nevada its Primm Valley just over the state line. It’s estimated on a big jackpot. Millions of dollars leave Nevada and go into California and Arizona.

One lawmaker says he wants to change that.

“Why don’t we have one of those?’ asks Assemblyman Cameron Miller, Assistant Majority Floor leader. “Why don’t we have it in state where people can participate and we can use it to do something really, really good?”

Assemblyman Miller says that “really, really good” would be funding children’s’ mental health programs across the state.

While that all sounds good so far, Assemblyman Miller says a lottery in Nevada would require a change to our state’s constitution.

“It is prohibited by the Constitution,” says Assemblyman Miller.

Miller says he’s not the first to propose a lottery in our state. The idea goes back decades. He says details of his bill will probably change as hearings are conducted and it hopefully moves from the Nevada Assembly to the Senate.

Should our state be part of the multi-state lottery so many Nevadans participate in now? Or should our state develop its own lottery? All ideas and questions that have not been formulated yet.

What we do know, Miller’s bill will need to pass both houses in two consecutive sessions, and then be approved by the voter per ballot referendum.

Miller says he knows his bill will meet opposition. Other bills suggesting a lottery have in the past.

But he says with the amount of money leaving the state every year when games like Mega Millions hits billions, it’s time to cash in.