Gerard Gibert, CEO of Venture Technologies and the fifth member of the Mississippi Lottery board, stated that the board had recently hired Balch and Bingham law firm. Following this, they still have a few vital steps to complete before any tickets can start being sold:
- Choose a banking service to help with financing
- Hire a president to run the day to day activities of the corporation
- Acquire insurance for the board and any directors
- Establish a contract with one of four national vendors to supply lottery machines and set them up in service stations
- Establish an application process for shops and service stations to undergo the relevant background checks before being supplied with lottery terminals
- Design and put into a place a marketing campaign
It must be said that there are far more steps than those above in order to get the Mississippi Lottery Corporation up and running, but these tasks show there is at least progress being made. The five board members and eventual president that is hired are tasked with setting up a huge and very complicated corporation in as short amount of time as possible, much like any other start-up, so it would not be surprising to see delays along the way.
How long before Powerball and Mega Millions come to Mississippi?
The first games to be offered in Mississippi will likely be scratch-off tickets, before the big, national games like Powerball and Mega Millions can be offered. The Multi-state Lottery Association (MUSL) that is in charge of running Powerball and Mega Millions will likely first want to see how the Mississippi lottery board functions and how well it does setting up these new games before offering up its now world-famous lotteries.
The jackpot for Saturday’s Powerball draw has risen to $625 million, further putting pressure on the Mississippi lottery board to get ticket sales in the state up and running as soon as possible. Its not uncommon for residents to travel to neighbouring states to get their tickets, as was seen in October 2018 when thousands of residents travelled to neighbouring Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas to buy tickets for the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot. All these ticket sales means missed revenue for Mississippi that is vitally needed for infrastructure and schooling improvements.
Wyoming, the latest state before Mississippi to establish a lottery, took 17 months from the time a lottery was approved in March 2013 until the first Powerball tickets were sold in August 2014. If Mississippi was to follow the same time frame, then it would not be until January 2020 that Powerball or Mega Millions tickets could be sold in the state. Wyoming set up its lottery without scratch-off tickets and opted to only join the national draw games, which could suggest that Mississippi may take even longer than 17 months if it has more steps to take before the MUSL approves the sale of Powerball or Mega Millions tickets in the state.