Legislature passes Florida Lottery warning bill - Florida Politics

Legislature passes Florida Lottery warning bill

Lawmakers on Friday passed a bill requiring lottery ticket warning labels after removing a requirement that warnings also be displayed at counters where tickets are sold.

The Senate approved the measure (HB 937) on a 23-15 vote, sending it back to the House. The House then OK’d that version 114-3.

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The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican, mandates six rotating warnings on Florida Lottery tickets and advertisements.

They include “WARNING: GAMBLING CAN BE ADDICTIVE” and “WARNING: YOUR ODDS OF WINNING THE TOP PRIZE ARE EXTREMELY LOW.”

The bill also says the warning must “occupy no less than 10 percent of the total face of the lottery ticket” or ad.

A fiscal analysis by the Lottery, which reports to Gov. Rick Scott, said the “cost associated with one of several warnings to be printed equally over 10 percent of the surface area of all advertising/tickets/promotional items would most likely impact sales of Lottery products.”

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That could be up to $50 million. Lottery revenue goes into the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund that pays for public education, including Florida Bright Futures Scholarships.

Keith Perry, the bill’s Senate sponsor, has said he doesn’t believe the agency’s number-crunching, adding, “I think we’re doing our job to the general public to inform them.”

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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