By The Associated Press
JACKSON — The chairman of the House Gaming Committee says he will hold an initial fact-finding committee hearing sometime within the next three or four weeks to look at proposals for a state lottery in Mississippi.
“So many people have asked about (a lottery). Legislators put in bills for it — every year. I told them we would look at it,” Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, told The Clarion-Ledger.
Forty-three states have lotteries, including all but one — Alabama — that border on Mississippi.
Supporters say a lottery would help shore the state budget — and could be earmarked for education — and keep Mississippians from spending lottery dollars in neighboring states.
Bennett said he has the Mississippi Gaming Commission and a casinos’ association gathering information for lawmakers.
In 1992 Mississippians voted, by 53 percent, to change the state constitution and allow a lottery. Lawmakers have never enacted a lottery.
“I think the people would probably be for it,” Bennett said. “But just because they’re for it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.”