Which States Don’t Have a Lottery? – States Without the Lottery

July 30, 2019 Blog 0

Which States Don't Have a Lottery? - States Without the Lottery

what states don't have lottery - hands with scratch-off ticket

Here we are in 2019. And yes, U.S. states without lottery play still exist today. In this article, you’ll look at which states do not have a lottery, and possible reasons why.

As you might know, there are lottery laws by state. There’s absolutely no national lotto organization. However, some of the most popular lottery games are multi-state games. This means that states join efforts to organize and create those hefty jackpots.

But the main point? States that do not have a lottery are out there. They’re making the decision to refrain. Our big question: why?

What States Do Not Have a Lottery?

So, what states don’t have a lottery? We’ll look at the current list of non-lottery states as of September 2019. Things are about to shift a bit, though. And it looks like it may happen before 2019 is over.

Right now, there are officially six states that don’t have lottery play yet. They are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Utah
  3. Alaska
  4. Mississippi
  5. Nevada
  6. Hawaii

Ready for the details? Keep reading.

(Note: States with online lottery sales vary. Just because a state organizes lottery games does not mean that online sales are permitted in that state.)

1. Alabama

Why doesn’t Alabama have a lottery?

The largely conservative state has clung to religious arguments against a lottery. With their neighbor, Mississippi, on the move, Alabama may turn upwind, though. Until 2019, the lottery discussion had not been seriously tackled since a vote in 1999.

However, this year the Alabama Senate passed the lottery bill 21 to 12. But it failed in the House last May. By a single vote. So, the state will not be voting on it in 2020.

2. Nevada 

Why doesn’t Nevada have a lottery?

This is probably the easiest state to address. Nevada is home to Las Vegas, synonymous with all kinds of gambling. Bottom line? Casinos don’t want any competition.

If the state legalized a lottery, that’s exactly what would happen. And the casinos are powerful. It hasn’t been too difficult for them to keep hanging with the non-lottery states in the US.

states without lottery - casino roulette wheel

3. Hawaii

Why doesn’t Hawaii have a lottery?

Well, they’re not going to lose sales to competitors. That’s for sure. The islands’ lawmakers have proposed the lottery before. But it always seems to fall through.

The state seems to think that lottery benefits would not exceed its costs. It fell through again this year. Reports say that studies on the lottery and its effects in Hawaii are not planned to happen anytime soon. 

4. Mississippi 

They don’t have things rolling yet. But the Mississippi Lottery Corporation is hopeful. The first scratch-off tickets should be available by December 2019. Multi-state games and others are predicted to be in place during early 2020.  

Why doesn’t Mississippi have a lottery?

Why haven’t they gone and done it already? It’s like what you’ll see below with Nevada. Mississippi casinos feared competition. Also, religious arguments were a factor. 

5. Utah

Why doesn’t Utah have a lottery?

Utah’s constitution bans all forms of gambling. So, it’s highly unlikely the state will see any change concerning the lottery.

6. Alaska

Why doesn’t Alaska have a lottery?

Let’s face it. Alaska is a huge but sparsely populated state. There’s high concern that the lottery would not pay off in the ways it has elsewhere. In the early 2000s, there was some buzz around the idea. But the idea has never made its way to the ballot. No chance to vote for it so far. The state does regulate charitable gambling. They also fear the lotto competition could hurt the support for those nonprofits.

More Lottery & Non-Lottery States Information

How many states don’t have lottery sales? At the time of this writing, six states don’t.

States without lottery sales naturally don’t offer Powerball or Mega Millions. However, all 44 states that have the lottery actually do sell both Powerball and Mega Millions tickets. 

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