Casino executives not sold on lottery bill wording

Casino executives not sold on lottery bill wording

MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - With the passage of Senate Bill 2001, the Magnolia State is one step closer to creating its own lottery. Many people who regularly visit Mississippi's casinos are excited to possibly buy their first lottery tickets in the state.

"I think it would benefit the state of Mississippi because I'm from Louisiana, and Louisiana has had the lottery. I moved to Mississippi two years ago, and I go play the lottery in Louisiana," said Patricia Crawford.

Other casino patrons said they think it's only a good thing and won't necessarily even effect Louisiana lottery success.

"I don't think it would really hurt other states because I travel, and I pick up lottery tickets wherever I go. So, I like to stop at other places and get tickets," said Robert Schomaker from Louisiana.

But if you ask those in the gaming industry, like the Silver Slipper's General Manager John Ferrucci, he'll tell you that the wording isn't conducive to working with casinos. He says the bill leaves possibilities open that could hurt gaming facilities.

"Any mention of VLTs or video lottery terminals or online gaming or anything of that nature is a problem. It's a problem not just for the industry but for the entire state of Mississippi, so that language really needs to be modified," said Ferrucci.

He believes that's because VLTs are a lot like slot machines, and it may take away the patrons who would normally come to the casinos for the slots. He does think it could benefit the state if worded correctly.

Ferrucci hoped the house would revise some of the wording and send the bill back to the Senate.

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