Wyoming would tap lottery money under proposed bill

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Cheyenne, Wyo. - A legislative panel has endorsed a proposal that would allow the state of Wyoming to grab some of the statewide lottery earnings.

The Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee has voted 9-3 to sponsor a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would allow the state to take 5 percent of the gross proceeds earned by the Wyoming Lottery.

State coffers would be enriched by about $1 million a year.

WyoLotto started selling tickets in 2014 after the Legislature authorized its creation. Its profits are shared with local cities, towns and counties.

WyoLotto CEO Jon Clontz tells CBS Newschannel5 that, “It appears that the bill does not intend to alter WyoLotto's operational mechanism which I feel has demonstrated success but will reduce the amount of monies distributed to cities, towns and counties. “

With the state facing budget deficits from declining mineral revenue and some lawmakers are looking at other potential revenue sources for the state.

If the Wyoming Legislature chooses to go forward with the bill, cities, towns and counties will continue to receive funds from the State of Wyoming through money transferred from the Wyoming Lottery. But Clontz says, “the State General Fund would receive 5 percent thereby reducing what could be provided to cities, towns and counties."