A proposed state lottery would bring in $61.5 million, or $55 million, or maybe $100 million a year for Arkansas, depending on whose estimate you look at.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, an anti-lottery group, issued a report last week putting the annual revenue at $61.5 million.
Lieut. Gov. Bill Halter, who is leading a petition drive to get a lottery constitutional amendment on the November ballot, opts for $100 million a year in lottery revenue. He said the estimate is based on 2006 per-capita lottery proceeds in the states contiguous to Arkansas.
The low figure comes from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, which estimates a state lottery would raise $55 million. The projection is based on lottery sales in Kansas, which has approximately the same population.
Halter’s Hope for Arkansas committee said it has collected the minimum of 77,468 signatures of registered voters necessary to put the issue on the November general election ballot. The measure would allow lotteries in the state with the approval of voters and the Legislature.
The pro-lottery group hopes to obtain more than 100,000 signatures before turning the petitions in to the secretary of state on July 7.
Lottery revenue would be used to provide college scholarships to Arkansas residents.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families said a lottery would add to the unfairness of the state’s tax system and “prey among those who stand to lose the most from gambling.”