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LEGISLATURE COULD EXPAND LOTTERY.

Byline: Steve Geissinger Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO - Despite fears California is becoming the world's gambling capital, the state lottery Friday broadened its proposed overhaul to include Nevada-style games banned by the 1984 lottery initiative.

The lottery - which is finding increased competition with Indian casinos - amended its already controversial reorganization plan to add games including roulette, dice, baccarat, blackjack, Lucky 7s, draw poker and slot machines.

The amendment fueled the controversy surrounding the legislation, which already proposes the first major overhaul of the two-decade-old, state-run lottery. The measure would boost prizes and slice struggling schools' share of revenue, in hopes of soon fostering lotto mania that would then increase education's take.

Officials say the lottery initiative that became part of the state constitution would allow the Legislature and governor to make the changes without a vote of Californians. A clause in the original ballot measure permits alterations if they advance the lottery's goal of making money for schools, colleges and universities.

The reorganization ``could be worth literally hundreds of millions of dollars more to education,'' said Bob Vincent, a spokesman for East Coast- based GTECH, a lottery supplier and supporter of the lottery overhaul bill.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 8, 2004
Words:193
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