The Wyoming Lottery Bill cleared the Senate on Friday afternoon, passing third reading on an 18-10 vote. The bill will likely go to a conference committee to decide the differences between the versions passed by the House and Senate, mainly where the money will go.
“In the house it (the moneys) went to cities, towns and counties,” said Senate President Tony Ross, “With the third reading amendment that went on today it goes to the permanent common school land fund as far as the Senate, so we’ll have to work that out. But overall, I think it’s a great day… I think it’s appropriate to keep it in the state and I don’t really have a big beef with where the money goes because regardless, one way or another, the state benefits so I think it’s an important bill.”
Senator Fred Emerich won’t consider the lottery a lock in Wyoming until after the conference committee gets together, but said he’s confident an agreement will be made because of the number of people in Wyoming that already participate in the lottery through neighboring state. Bill sponsor David Zwonitzer also seemed to think the conference committee will be able to work things out.
“We’re pretty excited that we have two great choices of where the money goes,” said Zwonitzer. “We’ll have to get together and decide which way we go and hopefully we’ll be able to come to some sort of agreement… but we have the lottery and I think we need to focus on that first and we can always worry about where the money goes next session.”
If the bill becomes law it will form a corporation to facilitate multi-state lotteries, such as Powerball, in Wyoming.