Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Lottery Game Causes Trouble in Texas

A lawmaker in Austin, Texas, has asked the attorney general to examine a proposal for a new State lottery game and determine if it would be legal under constitutional law.

In traditional lottery draw-type games such as Powerball and Mega Millions the value of the prize available usually increases in line with the amount of tickets sold and if the jackpot fails to be won it rolls over to the next draw to provide players with a larger prize.

The new 'Texas Triple Chance' game would make a break from tradition and allow the lottery to keep jackpots instead of carrying them forward, but if tickets sales slumped the lottery could be left severely out of pocket.

Texas State Senator Bob Deuell has voiced has reservations about the legal implications of the new game and requested Attorney General Greg Abbot look into the matter.

Lottery expert Dawn Nettles has also voiced concerns about the game. 

"Instead of a lottery being a guaranteed successful business as a lottery is designed to be, with this game the Texas lottery has put itself into a precarious situation in that they may lose, they may win," Nettles said.

According to Lottery Commission representative Kelly Cripe the estimated Texas Triple Chance payout rate would be similar to that offered for the existing Texas Lottery games All or Nothing and Pick 3.

"Although payouts may fluctuate from drawing to drawing over time the games are statistically designed to pay out at a particular payout percentage," Cripe said, but pointed out the lottery does not expect to start selling Texas Triple Chance tickets until after the attorney general has finished his examination of the game.