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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Gambling Coming

Michigan lottery devotees, heads-up. There could be a new game in your future if the horse racing industry and others have their way.
Called Lucky Tab II, players would pull a piece of paper out of the glitzy Las Vegas-type machine and if the numbers on the tab match those on the machine, you're a winner.
And state coffers would be too if the backers are right. With a budget deficit looming, added lottery profits of between $500 million and perhaps a billion smackers over three years would help a lot.
For the first time the governor publicly checked in on this although her office has been aware of it for over two years. She says it would be a "very wise move" for budget writers to explore t his option and others including slot machines at race tracks. The gov wants to link the profits=0 Ato funding the Michigan Promise for college students and maybe displaced employees in the No Worker Left Behind program. Voters in 2004 rejected Racinos however.
Rep. Mike Simpson is carrying the water for the industry and lobbyists on Lucky Tab II. While it would be tough to get this through the legislation with stiff opposition from Detroit and Indian casinos, there's a chance they can stick language in a budget bill ordering the lottery czar to just do it. But their first option is for the governor to just order her lottery guy to do it. Her lawyers are telling her don't do it.
But whatever happens, if Lucky Tab II comes to life, it will likely head for the courts first where the lawyers will have at it, before you have a chance to become rich.


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