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California lottery lease could lead to more gambling

17 May 2007

SACRAMENTO, California -- As reported by the Inside Bay Area: "The state may be headed toward leasing its lottery without voters' say and perhaps tripling sales to about $12 billion a year by adding new technology such as 'instant-lottery' slot machines, probably at horse racing tracks and card clubs.

"Schools could lose at least some of their current one-third take of proceeds in the lottery makeover. But educators hope to gain more in the long-term, indirectly from a state government bolstered by nearly $40 billion in lottery rental fees.

"Gamblers could get fatter jackpots than from the current sluggish operation. And they would get to use new technology, such as video terminals that pay like slot machines, from what is virtually an electronic instant-lottery system, such as those used in operations elsewhere.

"But top officials in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration said only one thing is certain for now -- investors are already approaching the state and, if the governor proceeds with his plan, California will hire a private adviser on handling major assets..."

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