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N.C. Lottery may start in six months

Sep 20, 2005, 12:39 pm

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North Carolina Lottery

Three weeks ago the North Carolina legislature passed the lottery, but since then there's been little work done to move it forward.

There's a long list of projects ahead for the state before tickets are sold. The governor still expects it to begin in six months or so.

Three weeks ago, Governor Easley proudly signed the lottery bill. He expected to follow South Carolina's timeline for rolling out tickets.

"I think in South Carolina, my best information is they had the scratch cards in that five to six month period but it was the next October, 14 months later, before they were able to get into the Powerball part of it," he said.

Before any of that happens there's plenty of work to be done.

First, Governor Easley, House Speaker Jim Black, and Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight must pick a nine member lottery commission.

That commission will have a major role in every aspect of setting up the lottery.

So when will you be able to walk into convenience stores across the state and buy lottery tickets? The governor's office, Black's office, and Basnight's all said they are very close and understand the time constraints and expect to name those board members soon.

Once the commission is named, they must hire someone to run the lottery. Then they will pick a staff of 100-200 people.

The commission then will pick what kinds of games you can play.

Finally the commission must pick a company to provide those games.

But it doesn't end there.

Advertising for the lottery must be agreed upon. Convenience stores across the state must be equipped and the state must join one of the major multi-state games like Powerball or Mega Millions.

Finally a gambling addiction program must be established.

It sounds like a lot but Governor Easley still said it's still possible to see scratch off games in six months and the rest in about a year.

Getting the lottery up and running in a timely manner is important for the state.

Lottery experts said for every two weeks it's not up and running it amounts to 50 million in lost sales.

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