Jun 5, 2001 8:31 PM

The Nevada Assemblywoman who sponsored a failed state lottery says she wants to take her case directly to the voters.

"It’s unfortunate that the Senate killed AJR 11," Assemblywoman Kathy McClain (D-Las Vegas) said in a statement issued by her office on Monday as the biennial legislative session wound to a close.

The resolution was reported dead last Friday in the Senate Government Affairs Committee. "She's seriously thinking about having a petition drive and going to the voters," her office said.

Since a lottery would require an amendment to the state Constitution, the resolution would have had to pass consecutive sessions of the Legislature and then gain approval in a voter referendum.

No reason was given for the resolution's defeat, although partisan politics likely played a role in the Republican-controlled Senate. The resolution sailed through the Democratic-controlled Assembly by a 38-4 vote.

Attempts to launch a Nevada lottery have died in the past as a result of opposition from the state's powerful casino lobby. However, it appears that this time the gaming industry had given the initiative its tacit approval, even though the measure would have allowed non-gaming sites to sell tickets.

Proceeds from the lottery were earmarked for education and programs to benefit senior citizens. McClain says the games would have generated about $370 million a year for the state.