Colorado Multi-State Lotteries, Referendum E (2000)
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
Legislative Statute Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Makes multi-state lotteries legal in Colorado; authorizes the state to enter into agreements for multi-state lotteries; distributes most new lottery revenues in the same way that current lottery revenues are distributed, but reallocates a portion from general government purposes to alleviate public school health and safety hazards; and exempts revenue from multi-state lotteries from state revenue and spending limits.
Background and Provisions of the Proposal: Colorado currently operates a state lottery that includes both scratch games and on-line games such as Lotto. This proposal allows the state's existing lottery to include games played with other state lotteries. Under this proposal, the state could either negotiate to join an existing multi-state lottery game or work with other states to develop a new multi-state game. Multi-state games involve a larger population of players than Colorado's existing lottery games, thus they offer potentially larger prizes but fewer chances of winning the jackpot for each wager. Currently, there are eight multi-state games, the largest of which are Powerball (20 states), Cash 4 Life (10 states), and the Big Game (seven states).
Proceeds from Colorado lottery games, after prizes and administrative expenses, are distributed to local governments, the state, and the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board to purchase and maintain state and local parks and recreation facilities, wildlife habitats, and open space. The amount of money dedicated to GOCO is capped, however, and any "spillover" money in excess of the cap is deposited in the state's general operating fund. Proceeds from multi-state games would be distributed the same as under current law, with two exceptions. First, any spillover would be used for health and safety projects at public school buildings instead of general state government purposes and, second, the spillover would be exempt from the state's constitutional revenue limit. While the actual amount of additional proceeds raised by a multi-state lottery game is unknown, each five percent increase in lottery proceeds raises about four million dollars for parks, wildlife habitats, and open space. Lottery proceeds would have to increase by at least 17 percent, or $13.5 million, to make moneys available in the current budget year for school health and safety projects.
Under the proposal, the Colorado Lottery Commission negotiates agreements with other state lottery commissions. The agreements govern which multi-state games are available in Colorado, the rules of play for each game, and the portion of ticket sales that go for prizes. The Colorado Lottery Commission controls advertising, promotion, and security of the game. The commission remains subject to the state constitutional requirement that all lottery games be supervised by the state.
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