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Dr. Mike Highfield Weighs In on the New Alabama Lottery Proposal on WCBI News

8-9-16 - COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — The lottery idea presents itself again in Alabama, and that means, lawmakers are back on goat hill to see if the lottery conversation makes it off the table.

“I wish Mississippi would get one actually,” one Mississippi resident said.

Both Mississippi and Alabama are included in the six states without a lottery.

Mississippi State Professor of Finance Michael Highfield says Alabama is right to have its reservations.

Highfield says,”Most lotteries come with a very large overhead cost. The administration of running a lottery some time eats up a substantial part of the revenues generated by it.”

Many lawmakers feel the lottery will generate more money for the state economy and other Alabama and Mississippi residents agree.

Alabama and Mississippi Residents offered their opinions on the proposed lottery idea.

“I think it would benefit us a lot…. most people I would say about 1 or 2 percent of people go outta town to a different state to get their lottery tickets. So I think it would be a good thing.”

“The Only way that I think that it would be beneficial to Mississippi is if they caught on too, to bring in more revenue for the School.”

“See I travel a lot and we go through Alabama to go to Georgia Florida and stuff and I feel like I’m always in Tuscaloosa and we cant pick up lottery ticket there and I think it will be a big impact…a great impact on Mississippi and Alabama.

Some lawmakers believe a lottery will generate additional funds for state services. But Highfield says it’s not a magic pill the economy can just take.

Highfield says,” The best thing for a state economy is a robust job market and a robust national economy in general. One thing that we see is that something like a lottery will provide revenues to the state but will also come with additional economic consequences so it’s not perfect.”

Lawmakers will discuss the issue in a special session, August 15.

The lottery proposal will be on the November Ballot if The legislature approve the proposal no later than August 24.

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