The Governor for Alaska, Mike Dunleavy (pictured), has reportedly proposed legislation that could see the giant northern state establish a lottery and legalize keno, video lottery terminals and online sportsbetting.
According to a Thursday report from the Anchorage Daily News newspaper, the proposition from the 58-year-old Republican would also allow a newly-created Alaska Lottery Corporation to sell scratchcard tickets and provide local aficionados with access to the multi-jurisdictional PowerBall and Mega Millions lottery games.
The newspaper reported that Alaska is currently one of only five American states alongside Alabama, Utah, Hawaii and Nevada that does not have a government-run lottery. However, Dunleavy purportedly believes that implementing his proposal could bring in up to $100 million a year in taxes and help to close a fiscal gap that is estimated to sit at around $1.5 billion.
Reportedly read a statement from Dunleavy…
“Aside from creating a pathway that could lead to business opportunities, the purpose of the bill is to generate new revenues for the state. In an era of declining state revenues, it is imperative for Alaska to consider new ways of funding government services that satisfy the public health and welfare needs of our citizens.”
The Anchorage Daily News reported that Dunleavy’s measure, which has been referred to the Affairs Committees of both the Alaska State Senate and the Alaska House of Representatives, would see any lottery revenues earmarked to support education, welfare and ‘public health’ programs in ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun.’ It explained that the proposed legislation moreover calls for $3 million in seed money to be set aside to help establish the operator and subsequently allow this entity to ‘conduct any type or kind of lottery game including single-jurisdiction and multi-jurisdiction draw games instant tickets, sportsbetting and keno.’
The newspaper reported that the governor’s suggested legislation would furthermore permit the Alaska Lottery Corporation to take out start-up business loans and ‘conduct lottery games through the use of any media including electronic terminals, computers and the Internet’ via the use of private contractors.
Although Dunleavy’s plan envisions the first lottery ticket being sold around two years after the establishment of the operator, a recent analysis from the Alaska Department of Revenue reportedly concluded that it may take up to another year for scratchcards to be on offer.
Reportedly read the analysis from the Alaska Department of Revenue…
“For video lottery terminal games, it may be reasonable to allow for a longer ramp-up period.”