Last Minute Stumping For and Against the Lottery Amendment

JONESBORO (KAIT)  The Arkansas lottery initiative continues to be quite controversial. Both sides of the argument were represented in Region 8 today.

Election day will determine where you buy your lottery tickets.

Thursday morning Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter was just over the border in Missouri.

In Jonesboro a group of Methodist church leaders are barnstorming across Arkansas to encourage people to vote against the lottery.

Rev. John MIles, "The lottery is simply a bad deal and it's not just a moral issue."

Halter says it's a matter of economics, Arkansas money going out to another state.

"Most of those license plates in that parking lot are Arkansas tags. These are folks, coming from Arkansas over into the bootheel of Missouri and purchasing lottery tickets."

Rev. Miles, "The reason we're in this economic crisis is because people have fallen for this idea that you can get something for nothing."

Opponents say the lottery is wrong for a variety of reasons.

Rev. Pat Bodenhamer, "The lottery will have an adverse affect on our most vulnerable citizens."

Rev. Edna Morgan, "The lottery will offer another opportunity for the elderly in our state to be victimized."

Scott Trotter, "Here the voters have no idea what they may be authorizing to approve when they approve lotteries."

Halter, "This amendment is very narrowly drawn. It restricts the program to a state lottery and only a state lottery."

Both sides do agree that educating Arkansas children is important but opponents to the amendment say it will bring in a gambling organization to run the lottery and that will open the door for more types of gaming.

Trotter, "And they will be ever ready to offer more gambling if the legislature will approve it. Through the way of offering slot machines or other things at various convenience stores etc."

Halter, "And for those folks worried about casino gambling or other things I just tell you it's not what this amendment does and I know that there are some folks out there trying to scare and confuse voters and tell them that it does allow casinos that's just not true."

Now it's up to the voters to decide.

Halter, "It's amendment three on the ballot and you should vote yes for amendment three."

Morgan, "So I ask you, vote no for this amendment."