Lottery talk is back

A rush of Nevada lottery ticket buyers at border towns Primm and Verdi seeking an unusually large prize generated, as it usually does, a corresponding rush of news stories about whether Nevada should have a lottery of its own.

Assemblymember Paul Aizley, a Clark County Democrat, unsuccessfully proposed a lottery in 2009. Such a change would require amending the state constitution, which forbids lotteries. Democrats have led in seeking a state lottery, though studies have indicated that lotteries are most likely to drain the money of low-income workers, traditionally a Democratic constituency.

In 2002, the state Task Force on Tax Policy reported, “Our analysis indicates that a lottery could produce approximately $40 million to $70 million in net revenue annually,” the report said. “However, it must be noted that these are very rough estimates based upon the experience of other states, where conditions are quite dissimilar to those in Nevada.”