Nevada's ban on state lotteries might soon be lifted. This comes after Senate lawmakers gave the proposed legislation a second look on Thursday.
Assembly Joint Resolution 5 would modify the Nevada Constitution by deleting a clause that prevents the state from running a lottery and from selling lottery tickets. It is sponsored by Assemblyman Cameron C.H. Miller, a Democrat from North Las Vegas.
Miller said: “AJR5 will not create a lottery in Nevada. What it will do is give Nevadans the opportunity to vote on whether they want a lottery in Nevada.”
If approved during this legislative session, it would need to be approved during the following session before being put on the ballot for approval by voters in 2026.
The joint resolution was presented in the middle of March and was approved on the Assembly's main floor by a vote of 26 to 15. The only Democrats to vote against the bill were Assembly members David Orentlicher and Shondra Summers-Armstrong of Las Vegas.
Members of the Culinary Union urged politicians to approve the proposal, as a way to promote young people's mental health.
Paul Catha, Culinary Union lobbyist, said: “Sustainable investment in youth mental health is good public policy that is long overdue and implementing a state lottery would allow Nevada to address an ongoing and urgent public health crisis.”
However, representatives from the Boyd Gaming Corporation, Meruelo Gaming and other groups opposed the proposal and voiced concerns that the money might not actually be used for mental health initiatives.
Nick Vassiliadis, a lobbyist for the Nevada Resort Association, said: “The lottery does not add new jobs. The lottery doesn’t add capital investments. The lottery doesn’t add brick and mortar establishments.”