The 6 States Where You Can’t Play Powerball
Many Americans have to jump the border to play for the $1.5 billion.
Powerball Frenzy Builds as Jackpot Soars to $1.4 Billion
— With tonight’s Powerball drawing set at a staggering $1.5 billion, jackpot junkies eagerly await the announcement for the winning numbers to see whether they beat the odds.
Forty-four states across the country participate in the multi-state lottery, with Wyoming being the most recent addition to the Powerball game in 2014.
But residents of Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah will have to head out of state to buy a ticket for the chance to cash in on the winning numbers of the largest Powerball jackpot of all time. Not only do these six states not participate in the lottery game, they don’t even have state lotteries of their own.
While states like Utah and Hawaii outlaw all gambling of all kinds — be it charitable, commercial, at a racetrack, or on an Indian reservation casino — others just require residents to cross state lines to get their drawings fixes or play at state-approved casinos such as those in Nevada and Mississippi.
Nevada State Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett told ABC News in 2013 that Nevada doesn’t have a lottery because of a decision in the state legislature made over 50 years ago.
“There was a decision in the state of Nevada as to whether we’d be just a casino-style gaming state or a state that allowed lotteries,” he said. “The legislature put that language in years ago that said, we’re just going to be a casino gaming state without a lottery.”
As a result, the state bans lotteries with the exception of charitable drawings held by schools, local elks’ clubs or boy scouts. Even then, these raffles need to be approved by the gaming control board, said Burnett, who signs off on five to 10 of those requests a month.
Burnett said every few years, there’s a proposal to instate a commercial lottery in Nevada, but the rumblings usually die down.
“I think it’s the gaming industry that doesn’t want to have a lottery,” he said. “That’s pretty much the prevailing view even today.”
In the Bible Belt, Alabama state Rep. Mack Butler this week told ABC affiliate station WBMA-TV in Birmingham that residents should be able to vote on a state lottery.
“People are going to our border states and those dollars are leaving, so if we could keep those dollars here it will be beneficial to the people of Alabama,” he said, adding that the topic will be front and center this legislative session.
Meanwhile, in Mississippi, where the gaming industries in cities like Gulfport and Biloxi have grown sizably, instating a lottery has been off the table.
“Every year we do have lottery bills that are filed, but typically it doesn’t even make it out of the gaming committee,” Rob Vickery, staff officer at the executive division of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, told ABC News in 2013. “I think that casino operators like the current situation because they’re the only game in town and the more conservative legislators don’t really want to go on the record as voting for gaming.
“You have this kind of unholy alliance that the gaming industry and the anti-gaming people would come together and be against the expansion of gaming, which would include lotteries,” he said.
But Mississippi also offers charitable gaming to its residents, boasting dozens of bingo parlors throughout the state, Vickery said.
Jon Griffin, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that while there’s ample funding for casino studies, there hasn’t been much empirical research on the economic impact on states that did not participate in lotteries.
“I’ve never conducted any research as to why these states aren’t participating in lotteries,” he told ABC News in 2013. “With so many states having lotteries compared to states that have casino gaming, most people don’t think much about state lotteries.”
In Utah, where the state constitution bans all forms of gambling, residents have flooded gas stations in recent days to buy tickets along the border with Wyoming and Idaho. And because most legislators are Mormons who oppose gambling, according to the AP, a change in the constitution is unlikely.
Alaska residents can only try their luck in similar charitable gaming options, including bingo, pull tabs, dog mushers’ contests and raffles. But in terms of getting involved with the lottery, there’s no draw for locals.
“Alaska has been more concerned that a lottery wouldn’t pay off in such a sparsely populated state,” The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
It’s the same story in Hawaii, where lawmakers have proposed lottery measures, the AP said, but the idea always fails.
And the state penal code is explicit: “Under prior law it was a misdemeanor to set up or assist in any type of lottery scheme, to sell or buy a ticket or chance in a lottery scheme.”The 6 States Where You Can’t Play Powerball Many Americans have to jump the border to play for the $1.5 billion. Powerball Frenzy Builds as Jackpot Soars to $1.4 Billion — With tonight’s
Hobbies and Interests
Despite the fact that lotteries provide a great source of government revenue for state programs, especially education, and a great amount of fun, there are 8 states that currently do not have state lotteries. The states that currently do not have lotteries are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. It is evident why most of these states continue to resist implementing a state lottery. For example, in Alabama, Mississippi and Utah, there is considerable religious opposition to all gambling. In Nevada, the casino industry opposes the lottery because of the competition it would create. Both Alaska and Hawaii are isolated from other states and therefore need not worry about losing money to nearby states. Lottery supporters in all eight of these states remain hopeful that a state lottery will eventually be put into place. If this happens, these 8 states could not only create their own exciting lotteries, but also participate in multi-state games such as Powerball and Mega Millions.
In 1999, a constitutional amendment to allow a State Lottery was defeated in the state of Alabama. Approximately 54% of voters opposed the lottery referendum while 46%, supported it. The total voter turnout was estimated at 50%. There is a strong Christian argument against instating the lottery in the state of Alabama. There has been little talk since 1999 about another state lottery proposal.
In 2003 there was a lot of buzz about gambling proposals in the state of Alaska. However, unlike Alabama, Alaska never brought a state lottery proposal to ballot. There has been little talk lately of implementing a state lottery in Alaska.
There is much talk in Arkansas about instating a state lottery. In fact, on April 13th, 2008 Lt. Gov. Bill Halter announced that enough signatures had been collected to put a lottery proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot. The state lottery proposal in Arkansas is described as the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. The proceeds of the lottery would be used to fund scholarships and grants to citizens of Arkansas who are enrolled in public and private nonprofit colleges and universities located within the State. In 1996 and 2000, Arkansas voters rejected state lotteries whose proposals also included provisions for casinos. It seems the Arkansas citizens will get another chance to vote on an Arkansas state lottery at the end of this year.
Hawaii also does not have a state lottery. Like Alaska, there has been little talk lately in Hawaii about instating a state lottery. There are few arguments for or against a state lottery in Hawaii. Politicians’ main argument against a state lottery centers around the idea that it is unnecessary and is not needed for the education system to thrive.
While Mississippi does have casinos, it does not have a state lottery. In fact, proposals for a state lottery tend to be defeated in Mississippi because they would take away from casino profit. In 1990 a proposal for a state lottery was defeated in Mississippi. Like Alaska and Hawaii, there is little talk lately about the prospect of a state lottery in Mississippi.
Like Mississippi, state legislatures have continuously voted down the state lottery proposals because it will interfere with the casino industry. In fact, a proposal for a Nevada state lottery has failed 24 times since 1975, and the people have never gotten the chance to decide. In 2007, on the 25th try, a bill made it through the House of Representatives but it has not been acted on in the senate yet. This bill would allow voters to decide the issue, although the legislature would have to approve the bill again in 2009 before it would appear on the ballot in 2010. There is constant talk in Nevada about implementing a state lottery.
Utah is the only state that currently does not have a lottery that is not seriously consider implementing a state lottery. Like Mississippi and Alabama, there is widespread religious opposition to gambling. There is little talk lately of putting into place a state lottery in Utah where gambling is completely banned.
Like the preceding seven states, Wyoming does not have a state lottery. For over ten years, lawmakers in Wyoming have been considering a state lottery. A proposed bill was narrowly voted down in 2005 by the Wyoming House of Representatives. In February of 2007 a bill to introduce a state lottery was voted down again by the Wyoming House of Representatives by a vote of 31-27. The talk of a Wyoming state lottery continues and supporters are hopeful that a lottery will soon be put into place.
How You Can Play the Lottery
If you live in any of these non-lottery states and wish to play this or any other state lottery, simply log onto official state lottery websites. These sites explain how to purchase tickets, and often times tickets can be purchased online so you can play most state lotteries from the comfort of your own home. You can also refer to official state websites for custom lottery news. Many sites offer lottery number generators to help make your lottery number picking easier for you. If you would like to purchase your tickets in person, you can also visit a local lottery terminal. No matter how you choose to purchase your tickets, or which tickets you choose to buy, you’re bound to have some fun!No matter how you choose to purchase your tickets, or which tickets you choose to buy, youre bound to have some fun! ]]>