Local News


No Nevada lotto means more money for California

Posted at 7:37 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 22:42:49-05

Nevada is one of five states without a lottery system, forcing those who want to play across state lines for Powerball tickets.  

Some people head to Arizona, but most make the drive to California, funneling more revenue into that state.  

The director of gaming research at UNLV says that's millions of dollars leaving the state of Nevada.  

"If we had a lottery, obviously people wouldn't be crossing state lines to place those bets," says David Schwartz.  

It begs the question, how much money are Nevada residents giving to the state of California?

The California lottery does not track sales by city or even county, so Action News reached out to the Primm Valley Lotto Store, but they were unable to confirm their ticket sales.  

According to the New York Times, that store sold $13 million worth of lottery tickets back in 2009.  It's safe to say a majority of their customers are Nevada residents.  

In California, about 1/3 of lottery sales go to the state's education system, so theoretically, that's $4 million being pumped into California schools, just from that one border store location.  

That's millions of dollars that could be used right here in Nevada schools, if our state were to follow California and choose to allocate a portion of sales to public education.  

The Clark County School District released a statement saying "While we welcome additional revenue streams to fund education for the benefit of all students, a state lottery is a decision that would need to be made via the legislative process." 

Even if there was support for the lottery in the state of Nevada, it could take years to set up, since the state constitution would have to be amended.