Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lottery Commission Control `Unbridled' / Says Opposition Document

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lottery Commission Control `Unbridled' / Says Opposition Document

Article excerpt

A state lottery commission would have "unbridled control over the distribution of net profits" of a proposed state lottery, a n opponent of its creation claimed Monday in documents filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Documents filed Monday by other lottery opponents claim the lottery act would eliminate most competitors of a professional lottery company, that reportedly helped draft the act, from doing businesswith that commission.

Proponents of the lottery, meanwhile, said they will answer charges that circulators of the petition violated state law by calling each circulator to testify the law was not broken.

Richard McCartney, editor of the Baptist Messenger, filed his reply Monday to briefs filed last week by the Lottery is OK Committee, proponents of the proposed act to create a lottery system in Oklahoma.

McCartney claimed Oklahoma would be obligated to pay any prizes not covered by ticket sales.

The commission could spend lottery revenues for "junkets to Japan" or Korea in the guise of economic development under that act, said McCarnety's filing.

"The lottery commission could even determine that it would benefit economic development and job creation" by opening and financing a plant in Oklahoma to manufacture lottery devices, his brief contended.

As proposed, the act provides no guidelines for spending money raised by the lottery. Designations in the wording that revenues from a lottery be spent for "education, economic development, job creation and programs for the elderly" are not specific enough to prevent an improper delegation of the state Legislature's policy-making authority, the document stated.

McCartney also alleged the state lottery act - proposed for a vote of the people as state question 598 in November - would:

- Lead to "uncontrolled spending" by a state agency.

While the Lottery is OK Committee claims the lottery fund would be a trust fund held by the state, McCartney argued in his brief that the monies would belong to the state and obligate it to pay prizes if sufficient funds were not collected through ticket sales.

Proponents of the act say the lottery fund would be a self-supporting revenue raising agency, but McCartney claimed the act creates a "contract relationship" that would obligate the state to pay the prize.

Also, the state would lose control of spending lottery funds because the propsed act permits a residue of unspent money to remain in the fund - which violates state law, McCartney said.

- Allow the agency to spend money not at hand. …

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