Idaho's state lottery will have to start off on a modest scale until it can accumulate the cash needed for more sophisticated, computer-run games, says lottery director Wallace Hedrick.
But while Idaho probably will have to start offering only "scratch" tickets with instant winners, the state soon will get into the more complicated, "megabuck" games, he told a legislative committee last week."There will be some big prizes. There will have to be big prizes to make it attractive," he told the House State Affairs Committee.
Hedrick and Deputy Attorney General Pat Kole appeared before the committee to report it will take months to enact the rules and regulations needed to launch an Idaho lottery.
"We hope to have a state lottery in 1989," Hedrick said, estimating the starting date between June and October.
But if there are legal challenges to the rules, the start of a lottery could be postponed indefinitely, he said.
When the lottery starts, it will look very similar to Oregon's lottery. Kole said under direction from the Idaho Lottery Commission, he is working up Idaho's rules, based on Oregon's lottery regulations.
There has been talk of Idaho joining neighboring states, but Hedrick said the lottery in Idaho would be an Idaho lottery.
Idaho voters twice have approved a state lottery. The first, in 1986, was blocked by lawsuits. A constitutional amendment in November cleared the way for a lottery.
The Legislature approved a $1 million line of credit to get the lottery going. Hedrick said it will operate with its own funds and will not use state funds, even to pay retirement benefits for employees.
But he said it will take a substantial investment to purchase computers, terminals and other equipment needed to run the more sophisticated games.