Sen. Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, has pre-filed a bill to abolish the Arkansas Lottery Commission and establish control of the lottery’s operations under the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
SB7, an 85-page bill you can read here, would create a lottery division in the ADHE and put the lottery under the control of the executive branch of government. Currently the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, which was passed by voters in 2008, is governed by an independent commission of nine members.
Last month, a consultant’s report recommended more gubernatorial control over the lottery. UK-based Camelot Global Services said the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is experiencing declining revenue because it offers too many games and is negatively perceived by potential customers. Richard Bateson, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Camelot, says Arkansas should reduce prize payout and better promote the lottery.
"One of the reasons the majority of adults aren’t playing, when you take out religious belief and you take out cultural values, is because it is confusing. They don’t trust and they don’t really understand and comprehend what is being offered by the lottery. Add in to that negative publicity and you have a very difficult consumer buy for players," said Bateson.