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New Michigan bill would allow multi-state lottery winners to remain anonymous
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By Kate NorthropOn Thursday, a State Representative proposed new legislature that would allow Michigan winners of multi-state games like Mega Millions and Powerball to remain anonymous when claiming a prize.Only winners of local in-state Michigan games are currently allowed to remain anonymous, but a bill introduced by Rep. Pat Outman specifies that players who win multi-state games would be able to choose to remain anonymous as well.According to a press release, the intention of the bill is to protect players whose security is compromised after winning significant prizes from Mega Millions, Powerball, and Lucky for Life."This is all about providing safety and ensuring winners of these types of games do not receive unwanted, possibly dangerous attention," Outman explained. "The bill would allow those who win the lottery to have the choice to keep their identities anonymous. Allowing a privacy option gives people a more secure feeling and does not leave them open to harassment or a flood of requests for funds, loans or donations."The bill's timely introduction comes about a month after the ticket for a record-breaking $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot was sold in Novi, Michigan. The winner has not come forward to claim their prize yet, but perhaps they might want to wait to see the outcome. Mega Millions winners have one year from the draw date to claim their prize.Outman also argues that the rise of social media in the past decade may leave players more vulnerable to scams and solicitation since personal information about lottery winners is so easily accessible. He worries that current law permitting the names of winners be disclosed publicly and to the media could pose a threat to the winner and his or her family."Everyone who plays these types of lottery games hopes to win big, and if it happens, it should be a time of celebration, not distress," Outman said. "Several other states allow winners to remain anonymous, and, in my opinion, it's time Michigan allow this option as well."This is not the first time that similar legislation was examined. In 2016, Rep. Ray Franz introduced a bill that also advocated for player anonymity, which was eventually shot down. However, Outman hopes to kick off his first term in the Legislature on a positive note by bringing back the topic into discussion once more."Privacy and safety is key among my position as a State Representative," he added. "I want to keep my constituents safe; I want to make sure they maintain their privacy, and this is a way to ensure that." .
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Alabama lottery and gambling bill moves to the Senate
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Legislation moves one step closer to establishing a state-run lotteryBy Kate NorthropMONTGOMERY, Ala. — A lottery and casino bill put forward by Alabama Senator Del Marsh was unanimously approved this morning to move on to the full State Senate for discussion.Alabama lawmakers are so far successfully re-entering the conversation around legalizing gambling within the state, which includes the implementation of a state-run lottery that could potentially garner hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.Yesterday, Marsh filed a constitutional amendment that would allow for the approval of a state lottery, sports betting, and five casinos.Should the full Senate approve the bill and amendment, voters, with House approval, would have the final say on whether the state decides to legalize gambling and adopt a state lottery. More specifically, they would have to approve the amendment to the state's constitution before gambling were legalized. The last time that was tried in 1999 voters rejected the amendment."I think the people in this state are ready to address this issue, and polling data shows they want to make a vote," Marsh argued on Tuesday. "My job is to put together a piece of legislation that serves the needs of the state, controls gaming, and provides a revenue to accomplish things the people of Alabama want to see accomplished."The bill proposed the establishment of an Alabama Education Lottery. According to Marsh, revenue generated from the lottery would fund college scholarships based on need, merit, and workforce requirements in the state, including vocational work.Marsh hopes that the bill reaches the Senate floor for discussion tomorrow and expects adjustments before it is voted on. He plans on addressing questions and concerns about the bill ten days later when the Senate returns from a recess."I think there will definitely be changes made [before the vote,]" Marsh suggested during the committee meeting.In addition to a state-run lottery, Marsh's bill specifies five designated locations for "casino-style" gaming in the state: the Birmingham Race Course in Jefferson County, Victoryland in Macon County, Greenetrack in Greene County, and the Mobile Greyhound Racing facility in Mobile Countys. The final location would be built either in Jackson or DeKalb County and would be overseen by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.Gaming activity in the state would be regulated by a proposed Alabama Gaming Commission consisting of seven members serving four-year terms, four of which would be appointed by the governor, and the other three individual selected by the Speaker of the Alabama House, the President Pro Tem of the Senate, and the Alabama Attorney General.A Gaming Trust Fund would also be established to receive money from license fees, fees from a compact negotiated by the Governor, and proceeds of the tax on net gaming revenue. The bill states that 75% of the funds go to the General Fund, where the first $1 billion would be for the statewide development and expansion of broadband. After that, a portion would be allocated to rural health care and mental health services. .
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