Mississippi’s legislature has approved a state lottery that could end up taking a bite out of Louisiana lottery revenues that fund K-12 education. Mississippi will use its lottery revenues to improve roads. State Legislative Chief Economist Greg Albrecht says after Texas approved it’s lotto in 1991, Louisiana’s finances took a hit.
“We were doing very well, monthly sales were in the mid 40 millions, and when Texas came online we were down to the mid-20s, and it nearly cut us in half.”
Louisiana approved it’s lottery in 1990.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant suspects the move could lead to his state pilfering nearly 15 million dollars in tax revenue from Louisiana. Albrecht says one thing is for certain, Mississippi lotto players will be less likely to get a ticket in Louisiana.
“The traffic on I-10 and I-20 corridors is nearly a constant flow back and forth. If they have the opportunity to do that in their normal flow back and forth, then some of them are likely to do that.”
At least 35% all lottery proceeds are transferred to the state treasury and the state constitution says that money must go to K-through-12 education.
If the state were to lose cash, it couldn’t just write it off, as the money would be coming out of a constitutionally protected education fund that has mandated funding levels. Albrecht says the lotto brings in a ton of money every year.
“It’s transferred to the state in the last calendar year, 2017, about 164 million dollars, almost all of which supports K-12 education.”
Supporters of Mississippi's lottery say it will take at least a year to get up and running.