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House Bill 607 — State lottery, joint lotteries

House Bill 607 — State lottery, joint lotteries

Parrish Miller
February 16, 2022

Bill Description: House Bill 607 would allow the Idaho lottery to participate in international lottery games, including those involving the U.K. and Australia. 

Rating: -1

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

Idaho law allows the Idaho lottery commission to "enter into written agreements or contracts, negotiated and prepared by the director, with any other state or states, the government of Canada, the provinces of Canada or an agency or contractor of any of those entities for the operation and promotion of a joint lottery or joint lottery games."

House Bill 607 would amend Section 67-7408, Idaho Code, to expand this authority for international lottery gaming to include "the government of Australia, the states of Australia, the government of the United Kingdom."

Setting aside concerns about partnering with nations whose dedication to individual rights falls short, the real-world effect of this legislation will be to keep the state lottery in business with Powerball. Rejecting this bill will, proponents of this bill say, prevent Idaho from participating in Powerball. 

Put another way, rejecting this bill is an opportunity to reduce the size and scope of the Idaho lottery, an entity that has carved out its market niche by making virtually all private sector competition illegal. 

Beyond that, the lottery offers terrible odds — it is after all, entertainment, not an investment — yet it does so under the guise of government respectability, giving it the appearance of legitimacy. The lottery  touts itself as a source of funding for education, yet less than one-fourth of what gamblers spend on it ever makes its way to government schools.

House Bill 607 expands a predatory government entity. 


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