Up Front: CASINO SOCIETY
ODDS ARE AGAINST THIS LOTTERY
THE PLANNED NATIONAL Indian Lottery is having trouble going national. Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III has told AT&T, MCI, and Sprint they may not offer this phone-in lottery in his state. All three say they will comply. Several other states intend to follow his example. In Congress, Representative Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) is out to thwart the enterprise, questioning the legality of transmitting gambling information interstate.
The weekly lottery aims
to start in December, using a 24-hour 800 number, where players may charge bets of at least $5. Idaho's Coeur d'Alene Indians, who unveiled the plan in March, want to operate in Washington, D.C., and the 36 states that have their own lotteries. Estimated weekly jackpot: $20 million. "With rollovers, the jackpot will grow exponentially," says David Matheson, who manages his tribe's gaming operations--bingo and video-gambling machines.
Humphrey says he fears kids will start gambling in their living rooms. Wisconsin Attorney General James Doyle has a more bottom-line qualm: The Indian lottery might eat into the state's own lottery, which has garnered $2.9 billion since its debut in 1988.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Christina Del Valle