Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Illegal Pull-Tabs hurt lottery profits

Justin Foss
MASON CITY, Iowa (KIMT)
Monday, January 31, 2005

If you're stuck doing the whites, waiting around can get boring.
That is, unless there's scratch off's or pull-tab's to play with.
Bob here, found some half finished scratch off's to pass the time.
But today, he's also busy considering a not-so obvious crunch on the state budget.
Bob Govern tells KIMT Newschannel Three, "The Iowa Lottery is losing money?" "With all the people I see buying tickets and throwing them away like this, I can't see how they could be losing money."
But they are, and it's because of pull-tabs.
They're called ad-tabs and they're not regulated by the state...and money goes to a private company...they're also not recognized by the state as being completely legal.
David Smith with the Iowa Lottery tells KIMT Newschannel Three, "It's costing us money not only the lottery, but the people of the state of Iowa."
Now the reason these tabs aren't just illegal, is because Iowa law regulating pull tabs like this iowa lottery ones is pretty ambigious....so last week law makers announced a bill to change that. They say they need to stop it now, because other wise it's like putting the state's wallet, with millions of dollars in it, right into the washer.
Any and all profits from the Iowa Lottery, go to the state's general fund.
With ad tabs cutting into sales, the state's lost millions of dollars it was counting on in budgets.
With a tight economy, that makes a difference.
Govern says, "Whew, that's a lot of money."
A lot of money, for countless state programs that could get all washed up.
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