by Joy Thornton
Joining the other forty-four states in the United States lottery, Mississippi capitalizes on the tourism aspect of gambling as the scratch lottery came into effect last Monday. According to mslotteryhome.com, passed by the state legislature under the Alyce G. Clarke Mississippi Lottery Law, the money gained from the lottery aims to give back to the state. In particular, the infrastructure system is going to profit from this industry that is new to the area. If the new market makes over $80 million in the fiscal year, education will receive the rest.
Author of the bill and District 46 (W Pass Christian, DeLisle, Kiln) State Senator Phillip Moran speaks on how much the lottery helps support local government. Unlike Louisiana, Mississippi can sell lottery tickets in casinos, convenience stores, and even bars. Moran states, “The availability to be able to buy them in different places is far greater here than our neighboring states, which is a good thing. Plus, the sales tax is built into the ticket. New places are coming online every day. Whatever area you buy it in, part of that sales tax returns back to that community, that city, or that county, for them to be able to utilize those funds for their local government to help their citizens.”
C&J Quik Stop lead cashier, Charles gives his input on how the lottery has affected the Pass Christian gas station. In regards to how much revenue has gone up since the lottery came to the store Charles remarks, “That we’re not too sure of. It’s only day two of the lottery. I can say that we’ve sold roughly between eight-hundred and one thousand tickets so far. The amount of business is still about the same. The same people are coming in now and buying lottery tickets with the rest of their purchases.”
The main buyers from out-of-state have been truck drivers on their route. On the other hand, some may wonder how the Mississippi lottery will affect the successful casino business. Charles states, “Honestly I don’t think it’s going to affect the casinos too much because it’s a different form of gambling.”
While casinos are the large gambling market on the Gulf Coast and mainly improve tourism, the lottery revenue has been good across Mississippi in a short time and hopefully will better the state.