A proposal to establish a lottery in Mississippi, once incorporated into a bill legalizing the playing of fantasy sports, was defeated during the final, hectic days of the 2016 legislative session, which ended last week.
The bill allowing the playing of fantasy sports was approved and is now pending Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature.
Earlier in the session, the House upon an amendment authored by Rep. Tommy Reynolds, D-Water Valley, overwhelmingly added language to the fantasy sports bill instructing the state Gaming Commission to enact a lottery in Mississippi. It was the first time a full chamber of the Mississippi Legislature had voted on a lottery in recent memory.
Only six states in the nation do not have a lottery. Reynolds said he had been opposed to a lottery but after seeing so many people buy lottery tickets in neighboring states, taking money out of Mississippi, he changed his mind on the issue.
But in conference negotiations late in the session, House and Senate negotiators removed the lottery provision from the fantasy sports legislation. Both Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who presides over the Senate, and Bryant had expressed opposition to the lottery earlier in the session.