Lt. Gov. Bill Halter had led the charge for Amendment 3 to raise money for scholarships.
The United Methodists Against Gambling issued the following statement Tuesday night in reaction to the lottery's passage.
United Methodists Against Gambling (UMAG) and The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church deeply regret that Amendment 3 has passed. We felt, and continue to feel, that a state-run lottery is not in the best interest of the people of Arkansas.
We will monitor the planning and implementation of the lottery should it be authorized by the legislature and will consider future actions accordingly.
For now, we urge the legislature (1) to reject a state lottery, (2) to enact alternative methods for funding college scholarships, (3) to refer to the 2010 general election ballot a constitutional amendment that restricts the definition of state lotteries to exclude all games of chance except the sale of lottery tickets, and (4) if a lottery is authorized, to enact restrictions on targeting low and middle income citizens and the elderly when the State promotes and advertises the lottery.
“Our next step must be to persuade the legislature to reject lotteries or, at the least, severely restrict them, while finding other revenue to fund college scholarships,” said Scott Trotter, UMAG co-chair.
We thank our co-chairs, Rev. Roger Glover and Mr. Scott Trotter as well as United Methodist pastors and lay members across the state for their tireless effort in speaking out against the amendment and increasing awareness of the negative outcomes associated with it. We are indebted to them for their work.