Another change in the Mississippi gambling landscape, joining the advent this month of legal sports betting, could be on the way after a State Senate vote Thursday in special session to create a state lottery. The final tally was 30-20 in favor despite questions about the sweeping powers proposed for the lottery corporation in Senate Bill 2001.
The session continues today (Friday), as both the House and Senate consider the bills the other has already passed.
The money the proposed lottery would generate is expected to help rebuild the state’s aging roadways and infrastructure. Go. Phil Bryant, in a speech before the session started, argued that Mississippi’s transportation problems must be addressed quickly, especially after he had to order the closure of county bridges earlier this year following safety inspections. The state reports that 437 county bridges statewide are closed for safety reasons.
“It’s time to get this done,” Bryant said. “We don’t need to wait another week, another month.”
Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah are currently the only states without a lottery.