LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Nevada State Lottery Resolution continues to be a topic of discussion in the Nevada Legislature.
During a Senate hearing on Thursday, many people voiced their opinions on the pros and cons of having a state lottery.
Many in favor of the state lottery say it would keep funding in the state, while others fear it would take away from gaming revenue. Sponsors of the bill say revenue generated by a lottery would be directed toward youth mental health programs. Several people testified during the hearing about their personal struggles with mental health issues.
"There should be more resources in Nevada to raise awareness. Our kids are not weak or defective and they deserve better," said a Nevada mother testifying on behalf of her son who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
If passed, Assembly Joint Resolution 5 (AJR5) would repeal a 159-year-old constitutional ban on lotteries.
"I don't see why it would hurt. It's just adding more gambling to Vegas. Why not give me a chance to win some money," said Las Vegas resident, Ricky Freeman.
"It would give people the opportunity for more hope to get quick cash," said another Las Vegas resident Richard Mapp.
Nevada casino, Red Rock Resorts said they opposed the new resolution in a letter, but locals say they're looking forward to the convenience of playing the lottery in the state.
"I think people will go to the state line, so I don't see a problem with it," said Las Vegas resident, Mahie Stoner.
While many debate whether or not having a lottery will benefit the state. Senior Reporter, Howard Stutz with Nevada Independent says the real challenge is how it would be regulated.
"Does Nevada create a lottery commission? Does the Gaming Control Board take the lottery? That's going to be the real challenge we're going to face," Stutz said.