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Group studying lottery starts meeting in Mississippi

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said weeks ago that he would form a group to study the pros and cons of starting a state lottery. As the group met for the first time Wednesday, Gunn repeated his opposition to the game of chance.

“I do not believe a lottery is based on sound economic policy, and it violates a number of conservative, Republican principles,” Gunn, a Republican who is also a leader in his local Baptist church, said in a news release.

“The purpose of the study group is to gather information to show that the lottery is not the windfall that all its supporters claim it will be,” he said. “I have not had anyone who has voiced support for the lottery provide me with any documentation showing why or how it is a good thing. At the very least, I hope the findings from this group will provide us with information upon which we can make an informed, reasoned decision.”

Mississippi is one of six states without a lottery, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.