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Oklahoma Lottery Commission, Question No. 705 (2004)

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State Question No. 705 is a ballot measure that appeared on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Oklahoma as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.[1]


Election results

Oklahoma Question No. 705 (2004)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 928,442 64.68%
No507,07735.32%

Election results via: The Oklahoma State Elections Board

Ballot summary

This measure creates the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act. It creates the Oklahoma Lottery Commission.

The Commission will be governed by a board of trustees. The Commission will operate a state lottery. The board will write rules regarding the conduct of lottery games. At least 45% of the revenue from ticket sales will be returned as prizes. The net proceeds of the lottery will be used for education purposes. Net proceeds will equal at least 35% of ticket proceeds except for the first two years. The act contains provisions relating to the selection and regulation of retailers. This act would lose the force and effect of law under certain

conditions. The act contains many other provisions relating to the conduct of a state lottery.[2]

Background

In 2003, Sen. Shurden and State Represenative Don Armes authored the Senate Bill 837 to make raffles legal for non-profit organizations, after an Attorney General's opinion had deemed that raffles were Class 3 Gaming, which was illegal in Oklahoma.

When State Question 705 was certified by the State Election Board as passing this month, it made Class 3 Gaming legal in Oklahoma and the legislation legalizing raffles also became effective on November 9.[3]

Support

Churches, schools, fire departments, senior citizens groups and other non-profit organizations can once again use raffles for fundraising without fear of breaking the law according to Senator Frank Shurden, a Democrat from Henryetta.

“I’ve been working for years so that non-profit groups could use raffles for fundraising. The only way we could make raffles legal again was to tie the legislation to State Question 705, The Oklahoma Educational Lottery Act,” he said.[3]

Opposition

The proposal purportedly to help education is really fraught with problems, said Rep. Forrest Claunch, R-Midwest City and spokesman for Oklahomans for Good Government. The experience in other states is that when lotteries pass things like school bond issues begin to fail.

He noted that both lottery and casino gambling questions are on the Oklahoma ballot this year with proceeds from both allegedly earmarked for education. Should both measures pass, he said the public will have the impression that a vast source of new funding will be going to schools and said that perception could make the public less supportive of other funding efforts.

The truth is state questions 705, 706 and 712 will enrich gambling companies, line the pockets of out-of-state gaming machine manufacturers, and put Oklahoma education at risk as people refuse to support bond issues and good ideas for stable, future revenue streams for education; after all, they are being sold as 'the savior' of education, Claunch said. When government sponsors gambling it promotes the idea that people losing billions of dollars enriches the state. It's as simple as that. It's not about helping children or saving jobs in the horse industry. It's about money and greed.[4]


See also

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