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Monitor-Style Gaming Ban Discussed

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Today, in a special legislative session, lawmakers began debating three issues including curbing the rising health insurance rates for public school employees, easing jail overcrowding and banning monitor-style lottery games.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Today, in a special legislative session, lawmakers began debating three issues including curbing the rising health insurance rates for public school employees, easing jail overcrowding and banning monitor-style lottery games.

On the lottery game issue, a house committee quickly voted to temporarily ban that style of gaming.

So the bill will now go to the General Assembly for a vote.

Jerry Cox with the Arkansas Family Council said, "I don't think the people of Arkansas had video lottery games in mind when they passed the lottery legislation back in 2008."

House committee members voted to put a ban on monitor-style gaming until March of 2015.

The way the game works, players pick numbers and every four minutes the results flash up on a screen.

Cox says it's too much like gambling.

He said, "I'm glad to see the legislature put the brakes on this for now."

Representative Charlie Collins introduced the legislation for a temporary ban.

He says there are other solutions to lagging lotto sales in the state.

State Rep. Charlie Collins said, "But the notion of expanding government, expanding government gaming, expanding what amounts to a voluntary tax usually paid by low income people, I don't think that's the best approach for us at this time."

But the Lottery Commission Director -- Bishop Woosley -- says monitor-style gaming could bring in an extra $3 million a year for scholarships.

While Woosley's not pleased with today's outcome, he says he hopes it won't lead to a permanent ban.

He said, "But I don't make the law and sometimes you reach the point where this is the better of the two choices."

The bill's sponsor says by putting a temporary ban on monitor style-gaming, the legislature can bring this issue back up next year and make a permanent decision then.
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