weather icon Clear

Supporters, opponents of state lottery face off

CARSON CITY — Members of Nevada’s Democratic-run state Assembly went before a Republican-controlled Senate panel on Tuesday, pushing a lottery proposal that had won approval in the Assembly on a mostly party-line vote.

Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to support Assembly Joint Resolution 5, citing a 1999 Gallup poll that found more than 70 percent of Nevadans surveyed want a lottery. The money generated could be used by schools to buy textbooks and computers, said Kihuen.

“The money is used to supplement, not supplant, money given to the school district,” said Kihuen. “The lottery is so popular among Nevadans, they’re driving to California to buy lottery tickets. Nevadans should not be funding Californians’ education.”

Opponents from casino companies said lotteries don’t create the investment and well-paying jobs that casinos do. They also argued that amending the Nevada Constitution to allow a lottery would produce a regressive tax on the poor, who tend to spend a higher proportion of their income on lotteries.

“The state, in effect, becomes the competitor to the state’s biggest industry,” said Bill Bible, president of the Nevada Resort Association, which represents most major hotel-casinos.

Convenience stores that have only a small number of gambling machines would be especially hard-hit, Bible added.

A gambling industry report estimated a lottery would pull in $51 million in profits for the state, but those gains would be offset by a net loss of jobs.

In previous hearings, Kihuen has said the lottery could pull in between $50 million and $200 million for the state’s schools.

Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, said calling the lottery a tax was a misnomer.

“You name me a tax where the public has a choice. How a person can call that regressive — I don’t understand it,” said Conklin.

Conklin added that there’s no proof other states with lotteries experienced any kind of job losses.

Comparisons with other states aren’t relevant, said Bible, noting that other states don’t have the kind of “wide-open gambling” and large service-sector work force that Nevada has.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - VIDEO
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - VIDEO
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas homeless ordinance becomes national campaign issue

Presidential candidates Julián Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg have all publicly opposed a Las Vegas ordinance banning campaign in public spaces downtown.