|Governor Phil Bredesen has signed into law the bill passed in both state houses that will give Tennessee citizens a state lottery. This makes Tennessee the 48th state to legalize some form of gambling, which is also legal in the District of Columbia. Hawaii and Utah are the only states that do not allow any form of gambling. (Please see related story, “Utah, Hawaii Forced Into Gambling?”) |
Governor Bredesen gave his approval to the measure only after “months of debate in the General Assembly and a statewide referendum last November,” writes McDowell. But bygones may be bygones. The passage was likened to, “the cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae,” said state Senator Steve Cohen, who had campaigned almost twenty years for a lottery for Tennessee. “It's satisfying because of the struggle it's been ... and the forthcoming benefits to students,” said Senator Cohen.
It is expected that the first tickets will go on sale early next year and that scholarships will become available in September, 2004. Estimates expect the state to enjoy a revenue of “... at least $200 million after prizes and expenses. Of that, about $175 million will fund scholarships, with the rest going toward pre-kindergarten programs and K-12 school construction,” the AP report stated.