Despite the fact that there are many gambling options for players, Nevada is still one of five states in the United States that does not have an official lottery.
Cameron Miller, an Assemblyman, tried to bring about a positive change in February by proposing a lottery funded by the state that would provide more funding for mental health programs for youths. With the Nevada Resorts Association, however, the proposal was again blocked.
Consider the Financial and Economic Impacts
The Culinary Union supported Miller’s proposal to amend the constitution, which would lift the current ban on lotteries.
The Nevada Resorts Association (NRA), which represents the state’s gaming and resort industry, took a different position. The Culinary Union also expressed its dismay at the NRA’s position on legalizing lotteries.
According to The Nevada Independent‘s Report, Virginia Valentine, president of the NRA, stated that a plan to establish a state lottery must take into consideration all economic and financial effects on Nevada businesses.
Ted Pappageorge (secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union) stated that they did not like the news that Nevada’s largest industry was content with Nevada’s ranking last in the country for mental health and second on education.
Because the union has been involved over the years in many important battles for Carson City’s working families, including against Big Pharma regarding transparency regarding diabetes and asthma medications. The union also won a two-and-a half-decade-long battle against unexpected medical bills that were sent to Nevada residents.
As expected, Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization hosting members from 178 countries has also been busy lobbying for a State Lottery that would dedicate a part of its funds to supporting youth mental health and education.
The Culinary Union urges the NRA “Do Better”
Pappageorge further stated that the organization will continue to be a strong advocate for its members as well as all Nevadans in order to ensure they have access to quality health care and Neighborhood Stability. Pappageorge requested that the NRA do more for state communities.
The Culinary Union used data taken from a World Health Organization Study to support its argument. It revealed that the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year of the pandemic.
Although it has not yet provided an estimate of the revenue Nevada is losing due to the inability to legalize lotteries the Culinary Union requested a “consistent, long-term funding stream” to help Nevada’s mental health needs.
According to the same organization, the state is a “regulatory standard for gaming”, which knows how gaming can be managed in a way that has minimal negative consequences for its citizens. The union deemed sustainable investment in youth mental health a “good policy” that was long overdue.
The organization also announced that it was launching a campaign to convince voters to support programs that fund youth mental health education.